With the Delta variant surging across the United States, the fight against COVID-19 — and in turn, the most extensive vaccination campaign in our country’s history — is far from over. As the effects of the virus continue to reverberate, the Biden administration recently authorized booster shots, and the Food and Drug Administration granted full approval of the first COVID-19 vaccine in an effort to increase vaccination rates across the U.S.
HDA members are making sure Americans get vaccinated for COVID-19 as quickly as possible by working with the federal government and states to make sure vaccines get where they are needed, supporting our pharmacy and provider partners so they can put shots in arms, and amplifying efforts that address vaccine hesitancy and encourage immunizations.
Distributing the Vaccine
McKesson is the centralized distributor for COVID-19 vaccines (except the Pfizer-manufactured vaccine) and all ancillary supply kits through the federal government. In this role, McKesson picks, packs and ships vaccines and supplies to point-of-care sites across the country. Additionally, AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and Morris & Dickson are partnering with states to ensure small physician offices and independent, small chain and long-term care pharmacies have the supplies they need to participate in the vaccination effort.
Supporting Our Pharmacy Partners
As one of the most accessible, trusted healthcare providers in their communities, pharmacists are on the frontlines of the battle to get all eligible Americans vaccinated. This role is even more significant in rural areas and underserved communities where they may be the only healthcare facility immediately accessible.
HDA members are proud to support the work these pharmacists do every day. AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson serve as network administrators in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 Vaccination. Since the start of the program, the organizations have collectively helped administer millions of vaccines throughout the country. Given the program’s focus on vulnerable populations, this work particularly targets individuals who are at higher risk of worse health outcomes if infected with COVID-19, and often are more hesitant to be vaccinated.
Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy
HDA members are promoting COVID-19 vaccine education and awareness by supporting groups working to address vaccine hesitancy and remove barriers to care.
AmerisourceBergen recently provided a $700,000 grant to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America to support the rollout of an awareness and education campaign across 28 Clubs in California, Florida, Pennsylvania and Texas. This collective effort will empower Boys & Girls Clubs across the country to provide critical advocacy, awareness and education work around COVID-19 vaccination.
Additionally, HDA is participating in the COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Equity Project, a stakeholder campaign of more than 60 organizations representing patients, caregivers and families, diverse communities, healthcare and frontline workers, and scientists working to address skepticism around vaccines and build greater confidence in the science behind their development.
HDA members also continue to prioritize vaccinations among their own employees, facilitating dialogue and engagement efforts to raise awareness around the importance of COVID-19 vaccination for public health, while ensuring that employees have the time and flexibility they need to get vaccinated at their earliest opportunity.
While COVID-19 has taught us that the discovery of breakthrough treatments is just the first step in turning vaccines into vaccinations, distributors are addressing this challenge on all fronts and doing what it takes to help Americans get vaccinated. HDA and its members are committed to leveraging their logistics expertise and supply chain relationships in the fight against this global public health crisis.
For additional resources and information on distributors' response to COVID-19, click here.
ABOUT THE HEALTHCARE DISTRIBUTION ALLIANCE
The Healthcare Distribution Alliance (HDA) represents primary pharmaceutical distributors — the vital link between the nation’s pharmaceutical manufacturers and pharmacies, hospitals, long-term care facilities, clinics and others nationwide. Since 1876, HDA has helped members navigate regulations and innovations to get the right medicines to the right patients at the right time, safely and efficiently. The HDA Research Foundation, HDA’s nonprofit charitable foundation, serves the healthcare industry by providing research and education focused on priority healthcare supply chain issues.