Across the country, COVID-19 vaccination rates have been increasing, and communities are starting to open back up. However, we still have a ways to go. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that just over 40% of the total U.S. population is fully vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2, and communities of color continue to get vaccinated at lower rates than their white counterparts.
Today kicks off a National Weekend of Action, with a variety of opportunities to join this effort. Learn more about volunteer opportunities, many of them virtual, at this link. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, will be a guest speaker during a Vaccine Month of Action kickoff call today at 4 p.m. ET. Anyone may register.
Vaccinating as many U.S. adults and adolescents as possible before the Fourth of July will require everyone to pitch in —to make calls, send texts, and talk to people face-to-face in our communities — answering questions and spreading the word about why it’s so important to get vaccinated. Pharmacies across the country will be extending their hours to provide more flexible appointment availability, and free child care will be available. Initiatives include media outreach, including a series of media tours around the country that ASHP members are participating in as we collaborate with the Department of Health and Human Services and the We Can Do This campaign, as well as an ASHP nationwide vaccine confidence radio media tour to advance credible information from pharmacists.
Other National Vaccine Month of Action activities involve local vaccine, education, and outreach efforts at Black-owned barbershops and beauty salons and a COVID-19 College Challenge, where colleges and universities can take a pledge and commit to taking action to get their students and communities vaccinated. ASHP’s SafeMedication.com has developed information on COVID-19 vaccines for patients and their families, and our COVID-19 Resource Center has a dedicated vaccine webpage with more evidence-based information.
The work to make the COVID-19 vaccines and information about them more equitable will continue — and be necessary — well beyond July 4. But this month is a critical step toward ending the pandemic.
Our members have been on the front lines of this effort since the start. Thank you for all that you continue to do to end the COVID-19 pandemic.