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.
For the past year, I have watched the men and women of the healthcare distribution industry go above and beyond on a daily basis to make sure medicines, vaccines, PPE and other medical supplies reached patients and providers across the country. Their energy, determination and commitment have ensured a resilient supply chain during the most challenging days of the COVID-19 pandemic and a distribution network that has continued to deliver value each and every day.
We have reached another pivotal moment in the fight against COVID-19: the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate for emergency use. With demand for vaccines currently outpacing supply, the addition of a third candidate is welcome news for Americans. Most importantly, a one-dose option that only requires refrigeration will provide greater flexibility in delivering vaccines to more individuals, including those in underserved and rural areas, with the ability to scale up production exponentially as we move into the spring and summer months.
On January 27, HDA joined other industry experts, public health leaders and elected officials for an insightful conversation about the manufacturing, distribution and administration of COVID-19 vaccines. Speakers and panelists from across the healthcare industry shared important perspectives with Steve Clemons, Editor-in-Chief of The Hill, on what can be done to support and strengthen the largest immunization campaign in our nation’s history. Below are a few takeaways from the discussion.
Since the emergence of COVID-19, HDA distributor members have worked tirelessly to navigate the exceptional and unprecedented demands of this public health emergency. From managing unique inventory demands of the first hotspots, to ensuring access to emerging treatment options and testing, HDA members draw upon their extensive supply and distribution networks, logistics expertise and experience navigating public health emergencies. Moreover, distributors are committed to the public- and private-sector partnerships that are critical in combating COVID-19, fueling our recovery and improving pandemic resiliency for the future.