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Published: December 18, 2020

AAFP - COVID-19: Updated COVID-19 vaccine information and Town Hall replay

Originally sent as a letter to AAFP members from Ada D. Stewart, MD, FAAFP, AAFP President

The AAFP is here to support you as you serve your patients and community

Dear colleagues,

It has been nearly 11 months since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the U.S. It is hard to believe that we have been fighting this beast for almost a year. Through it all, you have demonstrated to our country the resilience, dedication and compassion that family physicians are known for – THANK YOU!

A COVID-19 vaccine is what we have all been hoping for since we first learned about this virus, and it became a reality this week as the first vaccine was administered in the U.S. Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is considering an emergency use authorization (EUA) for a second vaccine candidate.

We know you have a lot of questions and are also likely fielding a ton of questions from your patients. The AAFP wants to make it as easy as possible for you to get the information you need for your practice and patients. Our COVID-19 vaccine webpage [LINK TO: https://www.aafp.org/covidvaccine] is your one-stop shop for all the details you need. Here is some of the information you will find on the page:

  • Safety and efficacy data for each approved vaccine
  • Status of vaccine trials
  • Frequently asked questions document and other patient education resources, including videos you can use to answer patient questions
  • State-by-state distribution plans
  • A link to our COVID-19 member community where you can share your experiences and ask questions
  • Vaccine coding and payment information
  • Details on the AAFP’s advocacy efforts related to the COVID-19 vaccine

We update the page regularly with the latest information about the vaccine and resources you can use in your practice, so please check back often.

If you missed our virtual Town Hall last night, I encourage you to watch the replay [LINK TO: https://www.aafp.org/cme/all/covid-19/town-hall-on-demand.html]. Our guests were Jonathan Temte, MD, PhD, who represents the AAFP on the COVID-19 workgroup for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), and Lee Norman, MD, secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. They discussed the COVID-19 vaccine approval process, safety and efficacy information, distribution and the role family physicians can play throughout the process.

Just as we did for the Pfizer/BioNTech approvals last week, members of the AAFP staff are attending key meetings about the Moderna vaccine and will summarize the information you need to know on our COVID-19 vaccine webpage [LINK TO: https://www.aafp.org/covidvaccine]. In addition, the FDA and CDC review/approval meetings are open and available for you to listen to, so if you would like to join, here is where you can find information about those meetings:

We know that many people have reservations about getting vaccines, especially the COVID-19 vaccine. That is why earlier this year, we launched a consumer campaign [LINK TO: familydoctor.org/vaccines] aimed at reducing vaccine hesitancy and encouraging people to get their immunizations. As family physicians, we are a trusted source of information for our patients and our community, so one way we can help instill confidence in the COVID-19 vaccine is by letting people know we got vaccinated.

I encourage you to take a photo or short video of yourself getting the vaccine. Then, post it to your social media channels with a couple of hashtags to build awareness and link people to familydoctor.org/vaccines [LINK TO: familydoctor.org/vaccines]to learn more. Here are a few sample posts you can use if you would like:

  • I took the first step to help end the pandemic. Thank you, researchers, scientists & trial volunteers for providing safe #COVID19 vaccines. Join me to build a community of immunity when you’re able to get the vaccine. Learn more at org/vaccines. #FamDocs4vax #WhyWeVax
  • I took the first step to help end the pandemic. Thank you, researchers, scientists & trial volunteers for providing safe #COVID19 vaccines. Join me to build a community of immunity and get vaccinated when you’re able. It’s also important to continue to wear face coverings, practice social distancing and wash your hands frequently. Learn more at org/vaccines. #FamDocs4vax #WhyWeVax
  • As a #familyphysician, I want to be protected so I can provide the best care to people in my community. Learn more about the importance of vaccines at org/vaccines. #FamDocs4vax #WhyWeVax
  • Hospitals across the country are being overwhelmed by patients with #COVID19. I chose to get vaccinated to protect the community and reduce the stress on our health care system. Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine at org/vaccines. #FamDocs4vax #WhyWeVax

I appreciate your ongoing commitment to your practice, patients and community!

Ada D. Stewart, MD, FAAFP
American Academy of Family Physicians

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