ASHP issued its recommended principles for the development, distribution, allocation, and oversight of an eventual COVID-19 vaccine.
With the race for a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine underway, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) recently issued guiding principles for the development, distribution, allocation, and oversight of an eventual vaccine.1
The new tenets, outlined as 10 key principles, create a framework for an effective rollout of a vaccine. Despite continuous updates on the development of a vaccine, many questions still remain around the potential rollout plan once the vaccine becomes available.
Notably, because pharmacists and pharmacy technicians contribute significantly to immunization rates, ASHP emphasized that the pharmacy workforce should be mobilized nationwide to administer COVID-19 vaccines. This means that state and federal legal, scope of practice, and reimbursement barriers must be removed.
Furthermore, ASHP noted that utilizing trained and supervised pharmacy, nursing, physician assistant, and medical students to assist with screening and referral, as well as vaccine preparation and/or administration is crucial.
Other considerations include proper storage and handling plans for distribution, accurate and timely safety reporting, rigorous post-marketing vaccine surveillance, removal of reimbursement and cost barriers, and ensuring that vulnerable populations are targeted for vaccination.
The following principles are based on ASHP’s wide-ranging research and best practice expertise related to pandemic preparedness, supply chain management, distribution, and clinical practice:1
“We have no time to waste in coordinating the development and administration of a COVID-19 vaccine,” ASHP Chief Executive Officer Paul W. Abramowitz, PharmD, ScD (Hon.), FASHP, said in a statement.2 “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.”
Read more about the principles in the full report.