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Capitol Correspondence - 03.02.21

National Governors Association Writes to President Biden on Challenges with COVID-19 Vaccination Tracking

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While the ability of individuals with intellectual / developmental disabilities (I/DD) to access COVID-19 vaccines varies by state, we are sharing this letter by the National Governors Association to President Biden on general vaccine tracking challenges to keep our members informed of logistical barriers and the political climate surrounding this issue. As written in the letter:

“Currently the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides public information on a state and territory level as to the number of vaccines distributed to each state and the number of vaccinations performed. The CDC reporting mechanism has created unnecessary confusion. We would ask that the CDC reporting accurately reflects the reality.

The vaccine is delivered and administered through several different programs. By one program, the federal government administers a program in which it contracts with private pharmacies for
vaccinations in nursing homes and long-term care facilities (LTCF program). The program is not
controlled by the states. Your Administration has started a new federal program to directly deliver vaccines to certain pharmacies in our states the federal government selects. Your Administration has also announced another new federal program whereby the federal government will directly distribute to Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) that it selects. These are three separate federal efforts beyond our control. […]

We believe it is important that the CDC in its reporting distinguish between these separate efforts to avoid confusion and provide a clear understanding to the American people. States also need visibility into the federal vaccination efforts at the facility level happening in our borders.

Second, we believe that federal decisions to use pharmacies and FQHCs should be coordinated with state governments. States also allocate doses often to these same pharmacies and FQHCs. We understand the capacity of the individual entities and we know the range of the individual entities throughput and their inventory. As usual, some pharmacies and FQHCs are better suited for the task than others. Following the performance data on these entities is essential.”