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ACCP Report

ACCP Leaders Meet with White House COVID-19 Taskforce

On November 7, a group of ACCP members convened with policy leaders from the White House COVID-19 Taskforce to discuss strategies to increase access to COVID-19 vaccinations and treatments, specifically targeting high-risk, vulnerable populations as the winter months approach with anticipated high levels of influenza and other respiratory illnesses.

The White House COVID-19 Taskforce was represented by:

  • Thomas Tsai, M.D., MPH; Senior Policy Advisor for Testing and Treatment
  • Chelsea Slyker, Pharm.D., MPH; Advisor to the COVID-19 Data Director
  • Ben Jacobson; Policy Advisor for Testing and Treatment

ACCP was represented by its presidential officers and the chairs of the Community-Based, Health Equity, and Infectious Diseases Practice and Research Networks (PRNs):

  • Elizabeth A. Farrington, Pharm.D., FCCP, BCPS; ACCP President, Pediatric Pharmacist, New Hanover Regional Medical Center, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • Leigh Ann Ross, Pharm.D., FCCP, FASHP, FAPhA, FNAP, BCPS; ACCP Past President, Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs, Professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice, University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy
  • Brian A. Hemstreet, Pharm.D., FCCP, BCPS; ACCP President-Elect, Associate Dean for Student Affairs, Professor, University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Jennifer Bacci, Pharm.D., MPH, BCACP; ACCP Community-Based PRN Chair, Endowed Associate Professor in Innovative Pharmacy Practice, University of Washington School of Pharmacy
  • Rena Gosser, Pharm.D., BCPS; ACCP Health Equity PRN Chair, Clinical Ambulatory Pharmacy Manager, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington Medicine
  • Krutika Mediwala Hornback, Pharm.D., BCPS, BCIDP; ACCP Infectious Diseases PRN Chair, Clinical Pharmacy Specialist – Infectious Diseases/Antimicrobial Stewardship, MUSC Health

Meeting Overview

Tsai led the discussion representing the White House, describing the evolution of the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic that currently places the United States in a strong position where, for the first time, the nation has unconstrained, sustained supplies of vaccine and therapeutic options to care for patients. However, currently, less than 10% of the eligible population has received an updated (bivalent) booster dose,1 and deaths are overwhelmingly occurring in the over-65 age group.2

Given these factors, the White House is calling on key stakeholders to:

  • Convene joint advocacy efforts to improve vaccination rates and timely initiation of COVID treatment
  • Develop a joint statement on vaccinations and treatment to reeducate health professionals and the general public

Next Steps

ACCP is excited to engage with the White House in this important initiative and will further discuss with White House staff how the College can support their work. In addition, ACCP will continue working collaboratively with its partners within and outside pharmacy to advance this nationwide public health response. For more information on how to get involved, contact ACCP’s Director of Government Affairs at jmcglew@accp.com.

References

1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). COVID Data Tracker: COVID-19 Vaccinations in the United States. Available at https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#vaccinations_vacc-people-booster-percent-pop5.

2Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). COVID Data Tracker: COVID-19 Weekly Cases and Deaths per 100,000 Population by Age, Race/Ethnicity, and Sex. Available at https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#demographicsovertime.