Federal Government Expands Access to COVID-19 Vaccine

The federal government, reports Axios, issued new guidance affecting COVID-19 vaccine distribution and administration. Most notably, immunizations can now be offered to everyone older than 65 and to adults with comorbidities that classify them as at-risk for severe infection.

Author Sam Baker also notes community health centers and more pharmacies are permitted to give the vaccine, and distribution sites are encouraged to administer all available doses, rather than accumulating a supply. “The government will no longer hold back doses for the second shot but will instead try to get today’s doses into people’s arms now, trusting that supplies will increase rapidly enough to provide second shots,” explains Baker.

The amendments, according to the article, reflect “changing consensus about how best to distribute the vaccines — shifting away from a strict risk-based prioritization system, toward prioritizing getting as many shots into as many arms as possible, as quickly as possible.”

While eligibility for the vaccine is expanded, those administering immunizations are reminded that current supplies are still limited and will likely be limited for some time. Healthcare providers are advised to inform patients of this situation. MLMIC policyholders are also encouraged to closely monitor emerging information and regulation related to the COVID-19 vaccine and governmental distribution plans.

MLMIC has assembled a number of other critical resources to support New York physicians as they navigate the pandemic: