Once again, we are at a critical juncture in our fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The Delta variant continues to rapidly spread throughout the country, and the number of cases and hospitalizations is climbing steeply. As we collectively monitor for updated guidance, policies, and recommendations, the White House recently announced that fully vaccinated adults who received two doses of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines would be eligible for a booster dose starting the week of Sept. 20.
As pharmacists and other healthcare providers on the front lines persevere through this ongoing public health emergency, I want to thank you for your extraordinary dedication to serving your patients and your community while delivering the highest quality care. Pharmacists, student pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians in critical care units, emergency departments, clinics, and across all patient care settings continue to rise up to provide care to burgeoning numbers of hospitalized and ambulatory COVID-19 patients, meeting each new challenge with determination and selflessness. Pharmacists’ scope of practice has expanded tremendously during the pandemic to include the authority to order and administer tests and immunizations for COVID-19 and childhood vaccinations, and ASHP continues to advocate for even greater authorities so that you can better serve your patients.
Pharmacy professionals have taken on leadership roles in developing national distribution plans for the vaccines, supporting vaccine confidence, and providing essential services as frontline clinicians and healthcare providers on interprofessional teams. What you are doing is truly inspiring, and it is making a major difference in the lives of patients and reflects exceptionally well on the entire pharmacy profession.
A year and a half into the global pandemic, ASHP remains fully committed to ensuring that you have the information, tools, advocacy, education, and support you need to provide optimal care for patients. Our COVID-19 vaccine webpage and COVID-19 Resource Center continue to be updated frequently to ensure that our members have access to the most up-to-date resources available.
I’m also pleased to share with you a new resource, Vaccination from the Misinformation Virus, a PBS documentary that helps address vaccine concerns. The one-hour special, supported by ASHP, features several healthcare professionals, including ASHP members and students from the Notre Dame of Maryland University School of Pharmacy, who discuss why vaccines are safe and crucial to public health. This is an excellent resource to share with your patients, communities, and healthcare partners to bolster vaccine confidence.
As hospitalizations and COVID-19 cases grow, please know that we are evaluating plans for all of our upcoming ASHP events. As always, the safety of our staff, our members, and our volunteers come first, and we will share any updates with you as soon as they become available.
In closing, over the coming weeks, many of you will be managing patient surges in your hospitals and implementing plans to provide booster doses in your communities, adding to demanding workloads and creating additional stress throughout the workforce. As this pandemic continues on seemingly unabated, it has never been more important to be mindful of our health and well-being. We understand what you are going through, and ASHP is here to support you in every way that we possibly can. I encourage you to visit the ASHP Well-Being and Resilience webpage for resources, information, and tips for taking care of yourself during this highly stressful time.
We are all so grateful for all that you do for your patients and our profession.
Posted on August 20, 2021