January 5, 2021
Dear County Leaders and Public Health Officers:
The California Academy of Family Physicians (CAFP) and our nearly 11,000 family physicians and medical students deeply appreciate the actions you have taken so far to distribute vaccines to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. CAFP recognizes the significant challenges and effort required to disseminate and administer the vaccine.
Family physicians stand ready to serve as partners in vaccine education, distribution, and administration. We will work to support efforts to ensure everyone receives the vaccine, especially those populations who have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Family physicians trust the science of vaccines, and educate our patients to understand more about vaccines.
We recognize limited quantities of vaccines are available and agree that priority should be given to frontline health care workers and those at greatest risk of morbidity and mortality from COVID-19. While distribution efforts thus far have prioritized health care workers in certain entities, such as acute care hospitals, as well as health care workers affiliated with those entities, we urge that unaffiliated physicians and medical students be given the vaccine immediately and without delay. Solo, small, and medium size primary care practices play a critical role in stopping the spread of COVID-19 and in treating those who have the virus. This is also true of primary care physicians in rural areas, as well as medical students. We urge you to ensure these vital caregivers are afforded the opportunity to be vaccinated at the same rate as their hospital-affiliated colleagues.
CAFP is eager to partner with you to ensure the effective and efficient distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to those most in need of inoculation because of health condition, age, and potential exposure to the virus. Please contact us if there is any further information we can provide to you, or any guidance we can provide to our members, to ensure the vaccine prioritization envisioned by the State comes to fruition.
David Bazzo, MD, FAAFP
President, California Academy of Family Physicians