Doctors of Chiropractic and Other Healthcare Professionals
The COVID-19 Vaccine: Who’s First in Line?
Much has been made in the last several weeks regarding the development and distribution of vaccines aimed at eradicating the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that two companies have received vaccine approval, federal, state, and local governments are scrambling to ensure that this first supply of vaccines gets to the individuals who need it most.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has outlined their recommendations on who should be vaccinated first. As part of their guidelines, CDC has stated that the first allocation of the vaccine should go to healthcare personnel and long-term care facility residents. CDC goes further to define what they believe constitutes healthcare personnel; however, the definition is not all encompassing and chiropractors should fall within their description.
Governors and state departments of health have the authority to determine how vaccines are being distributed
“Operation Warp Speed,” a federal initiative, mostly through the Department of Health and Human Services and even the Department of Defense, was developed to ensure that once the vaccines were deemed safe they were swiftly distributed to the states. States are now going through the process of making the vaccine available to the first and sometimes, even the secondary, populations. It is important to note that the above CDC recommendations are simply guidelines and governors are not bound by them when determining vaccine distribution.
Chiropractors have been declared essential by federal government
Early in the pandemic, through pressure from ACA, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) declared that chiropractors were essential providers and a vital component of the healthcare delivery team. Governors and state and local departments of health should recognize this designation and identify chiropractors as central healthcare providers.
What Should I Do If I Want to Be Vaccinated?
Chiropractors and their staff who wish to receive the COVID-19 vaccine should contact their state or county department of health to arrange for the vaccine. Integrated settings like hospitals or community health centers that a chiropractor has a relationship with can also be sources of the vaccine.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC)
The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)