COVID-19 vaccinations have ramped up to over 3,000,000 per day with a goal to have all Americans eligible for a vaccine by May 1. By July 4, people may be able to gather in small groups for a celebration. Fireworks have never sounded so good! Currently, Americans can receive either Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccines in their communities if they meet the age and health requirements. It is important that physicians know about administering the COVID-19 vaccine in order to achieve this goal.
The makers of the Oxford - AstraZeneca vaccine are about to ask for emergency approval in the US for its vaccine, but several factors may affect its distribution in the US. First, 13 European countries recently pulled the vaccine for fear that it caused an increase in blood clots. However, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) reviewed this connection and determined that it was unfounded. The WHO urged that all European countries resume distribution of the shots once more. Some countries such as France, Germany, and Spain have started giving them once more, but the public's faith in this vaccine has been shaken.
The United States may not need the Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine even if the FDA grants emergency use. According to authorities, the manufacturers of the other three vaccines promise to provide enough products to vaccinate all Americans without the help of AstraZeneca. Also, the American public may not want this latest vaccine since its reputation has been damaged. Human trials show that it is 79% effective against the virus and completely effective against the worst outcomes, so it may be a useful option if the other suppliers falter.
Administering the COVID-19 Vaccine by Race
Approximately 20% of the US population has been vaccinated but no state has vaccinated that percentage of its Black and Hispanic populations. Only four states, California, Louisiana, Massachusetts, and North Carolina, have vaccinated more than 15% of their Black population. Nineteen states have vaccinated 20% of their White population and seven have reached that level with their Asian populations. We must do more with both outreach and accessibility to improve these statistics.
Authorities believe part of the disparity is due to the elderly population being mostly white and being vaccinated first. According to researchers, mistrust of the medical establishment is more common among Black Americans due to a history of racism, mistreatment, and neglect. Anti-vaccination propaganda is also leading to hesitation among some groups.
Strategies to Overcome Vaccination Hesitation
Hard data can be effective in overcoming vaccination hesitation. Many people fear the side effects of these drugs that were rushed to the public. Encouraging patients to use the CDC's V-safe website can help provide needed information. After their vaccinations, patients can use V-safe to list their side effects. Depending on their answers to a survey, someone from the CDC may check in with them to get more information.
Targeting information to marginalized communities can also help. Providing vaccine statistics based on race, age or gender may ease some concerns. Also, work to make the registration process as simple as possible through the local health department and participating clinics. Scheduling difficulties can discourage already hesitant vaccine seekers. You shouldn't need to stalk websites and have access to technology to receive the COVID-19 vaccination.
The supplies of vaccines vary from community to community, leading some people to travel to areas that have more supply than demand. Over the next few months, people will need constant updates on the shifting availability of these vaccines and their eligibility status.
Make Administering the COVID-19 Vaccine Easy
Patients do not want long waits to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. Physicians want to be able to provide the vaccinations with a low administrative burden. In order to maximize the throughput of the COVID-19 vaccine, organizations should invest in technology to improve the patient and user experience. That is why TempDev created the COVID-19 Vaccination NextGen EHR Template. Their goal was to make accurately documenting and billing the vaccine quicker than administering it.
The TemDev Difference
TempDev’s consultants specialize in NextGen Healthcare. We have created the COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Template & COVID-19 Testing Clinic Template with the needs of ambulatory practices in mind and to help ease the burden placed on our healthcare system. We have assisted physicians to know about administering the COVID-19 vaccine and how it works with their technology. If your practice needs help to prepare to administer COVID-19 vaccines, call TempDev. Our NextGen consultants, developers, and project managers are here to help with any of your NextGen needs.
Call us at 888.TEMP.DEV, or contact us here to get started documenting and billing for COVID-19 vaccines.
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