WSVMA advocates for veterinary professionals to be included in early distribution of eventual coronavirus vaccine
Although there’s no approved Covid-19 vaccine at this time, Washington state now has a draft plan for a fast and effective distribution of a vaccine once it’s available. The plan calls for the first, likely limited phase of distribution to go to high-risk healthcare workers, first responders, other essential workers, people with health issues that put them at higher risk, and adults in long-term care. The second phase would go out more broadly to pharmacies, doctors’ offices and clinics.
The WSVMA has communicated with the offices of Gov. Inslee and the Secretary of Health about the importance of including veterinarians, veterinary technicians and veterinary assistants in early distribution. As essential workers under the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Guidance who are critically important to food safety and agricultural operations, veterinary professionals also protect public health through critical surveillance for the SARS-CoV-2 virus in non-human animals as well for other potentially zoonotic diseases.
In addition, veterinarians are highly trusted professionals in our communities. Vaccine hesitancy has been well documented across a variety of demographics in the United States. The high degree of trust in veterinary professionals supports veterinarians actively sharing messaging related to the importance of vaccination as part of our public health mission. Such messaging is most effectively conveyed if veterinarians and their staff have themselves received the vaccine.
All states were required to submit their plan to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by October 16, 2020. The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) continues to make progress on the state COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan and are working with the federal government and local partners within Washington to plan for the distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine when one becomes available.
Posted November 16, 2020