04 Feb AVMA COVID-19 Update and Resources
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February 4, 2021
COVID-19 vaccinations are top of mind across the country. As an AVMA member, we want to make sure you know the latest vaccine developments, where to get questions answered, and how you can access tools to help you and your team participate in the vaccine rollout.
When can veterinarians get vaccinated?
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued more detailed recommendations for vaccine distribution last week that are an important “win” for veterinary professionals. They recommend that anyone providing “veterinary services” be prioritized in Phase I-b of the vaccine rollout.
State, territorial and local authorities make the final decisions on vaccine distribution, so vaccine availability for veterinary personnel will vary based on location. States have flexibility in whether and how they implement federal guidance; however, the expanded CDC recommendations are helpful in cases where that guidance is being followed. As of February 2, at least 20 states had classified veterinarians and our teams to receive vaccines in Phase I-a, I-b, or I-c.
Contact your state or local veterinary association for information about how veterinary professionals are classified in your area. Ask your county or other local public health authority if additional prioritization has been done at that level, and when and how you can make an appointment to be vaccinated.
What about veterinarians administering vaccines?
There is increasing public conversation around the potential for veterinarians to help vaccinate people against COVID-19. Some states have even asked potential veterinary volunteers to identify ourselves. While veterinarians are accustomed to responding to disasters, this particular request requires special consideration. We need to weigh not only our ability to support a public health response, but also the potential for legal risk.
The AVMA’s vaccination FAQ will help you sort through the questions to consider in making this decision. If you’re contemplating volunteering in this capacity, it will be an invaluable tool to help you protect yourself.
Vaccines and vaccination: 10-minute update
AVMA’s chief veterinary officer and chief government relations officer provide a high-level summary of COVID-19 vaccination matters in a new 10-minute webinar on AVMA Axon. Watch now and know that you’re up to date on the vaccine rollout.
Vaccination resources for you and your team
AVMA’s website offers a full suite of vaccination resources to support you, your veterinary team members, and your practice. Go to avma.org/COVIDvaccine to find information about COVID-19 vaccines, answers to commonly asked questions, a downloadable poster to support vaccine adoption, and other resources.