As scientists across the globe race to create a COVID-19 vaccine, ASHP (American Society of Health-System Pharmacists) today issued 10 guiding principles for vaccine development, distribution, allocation, and oversight.
“We have no time to waste in coordinating the development and administration of a COVID-19 vaccine,” said ASHP CEO Paul W. Abramowitz, Pharm.D., Sc.D. (Hon.), FASHP. “As the nation engages in this extraordinary planning and collaboration process, we must do so with clear direction. This is the largest single vaccination effort the global community has experienced, and while much is unknown, previous experience and research help provide a path forward.”
ASHP authored these principles to drive conversation and action within the necessary medical and public policy communities.
Building on ASHP’s wide-ranging research and best practices expertise related to pandemic preparedness, supply chain management, distribution, and clinical practice, the organization believes the following are vital to an effective vaccination rollout:
• Enforce a transparent and rigorous process for vaccine development, approval, and post-marketing surveillance.
• Collaborate and coordinate with domestic and international public health partners to establish and implement a framework for the ethical and equitable global distribution of vaccine(s).
• Engage, prepare, and protect the immunizer workforce.
• Expand patient access to COVID-19 vaccine(s) by leveraging a highly qualified and empowered clinical pharmacy workforce in all settings of care.
• Adhere to established best practices for proper storage and handling of vaccines throughout the supply chain from distribution to patient administration.
• Ensure equitable allocation of COVID-19 vaccine(s) across populations and communities, prioritized for greatest public health impact.
• Achieve high acceptance and uptake of COVID-19 vaccine(s) by minimizing vaccine hesitancy and misinformation.
• Seek innovative solutions for adverse drug event monitoring and documentation to improve the thoroughness, accuracy, and usefulness of data collection for improved vaccine safety.
• Ensure patient access to COVID-19 vaccine(s) by preventing and removing financial barriers.
• Remain vigilant with continued research and comprehensive surveillance procedures for COVID-19 vaccine use, safety, and effectiveness.
“It is imperative that the novel COVID-19 vaccine is distributed in an ethical, equitable, and efficient manner. To achieve this, extraordinary efforts will be required to coordinate, prepare, and mobilize an immunization workforce while operationalizing the critical infrastructure for the vaccine supply chain. ASHP acknowledges the multifaceted approaches required for the continuum of mass immunization efforts and is committed to advancing resources and support,” added Abramowitz.
Learn more about each of the principles in ASHP Principles for COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution, Allocation, and Mass Immunization.