AHA presses for changes to COVID-19 vaccine rollout and for HHS to take larger role

The American Hospital Association (AHA) sent a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar requesting greater clarity and assistance for the distribution of COVID-19 vaccine doses.

The American Hospital Association (AHA) sent a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar requesting greater clarity and assistance for the distribution of COVID-19 vaccine doses. The letter states, "In the first few weeks of administering vaccines, hospitals have seen a number of barriers to smooth and effective vaccinations." AHA said some hospitals reported receiving fewer doses than requested, while others received more, with no explanations for the discrepancy. The letter also noted, "We are hearing from hospitals and health systems that serve more than one state that it is hard to manage vaccine distribution when their patients live in jurisdictions with different rules about which patients are prioritized and that are at different priority levels." Furthermore, the letter asserted that HHS needs to take a wider support role and provide more consistent communication to stakeholders, citing how HHS officials made regular calls to hospitals and other stakeholders during the distribution of remdesivir. AHA further noted that hospitals at the initial rollout of vaccines turned to their locality with questions, but different jurisdictions may have formed their own answers or sought guidance from the federal government.