For Immediate Release
February 3, 2021
It’s Time for COVID-19 Vaccines to be Distributed to
Statement Attributable to:
Bonnie Litvack, MD
President, Medical Society of the State of New York
“Yesterday’s announcement of the additional supply of COVID-19 vaccines to pharmacies and to New York State is welcome news in the effort to ensure that all New Yorkers are vaccinated. However, the Medical Society of the State of New York continues to urge that more doses be made available and distributed to community-based practicing physicians so they can begin to immunize their patients.
“MSSNY has long advocated for physician involvement as a COVID-19 immunizer, and many community-based private practices have already signed up to do so. These individuals practice in a wide range of communities, including those that serve the Black/Brown/LatinX/Asian patient population and in the rural, urban, and suburban communities. We hear every day from physicians who are asking when they will be getting vaccines. Patients are requesting immunization from their physician rather than going to a POD or a pharmacy where they believe they risk greater exposure to COVID-19. Many of these physicians care for the state’s most vulnerable— seniors, those with significant co-morbidities, individuals of color, and those who speak different languages.
“Additionally, we appreciate that Governor Cuomo has placed great emphasis on ensuring that communities of color are vaccinated. MSSNY’s Health Disparities Committee has recommended to the state that data be collected that includes racial, ethnic, and geographical information on who has been immunized. We believe that this will give the state and all COVID-19 immunizers a comprehensive review of which populations need to be targeted to ensure equity.
“Community-based physicians provide immunizations on a daily basis and have experience in providing flu clinics. Perhaps most importantly, they would be able to check their patient database and immediately identify patients who are eligible to receive the vaccine. We are making great strides in getting people immunized, but barriers remain. While we understand the significant challenges regarding the limited supply, we urge that more vaccinations also be made available for distribution to community-based physicians to help ensure their patients can be vaccinated and help stem this pandemic.”
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Founded in 1807, the Medical Society of the State of New York is the state’s principal non-profit professional organization for physicians, residents and medical students of all specialties. Its mission is to represent the interests of patients and physicians to assure quality healthcare services for all.
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