Primary Care Remains Untapped as U.S. Struggles to Administer COVID-19 Vaccines
Updated: Apr 18
WASHINGTON, February 10, 2021—The Larry A. Green Center, in collaboration with the Primary Care Collaborative (PCC) and 3rd Conversation, today released new data showing that 8 in 10 primary care practices are ready and willing to assist with COVID-19 vaccine distribution, despite ongoing staffing shortages caused or exacerbated by pandemic-related financial issues. With 20% of respondents practicing in rural communities and a vast majority with access to patients with chronic conditions, primary care could be an untapped yet key avenue for reaching vulnerable communities.
This data comes during a critical time when millions of Americans face months-long waits for their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, even as the new administration aims to issue 150 million doses in its first 100 days. As the largest healthcare platform in the United States, primary care has the potential to turbo-charge distribution if resources are put in place to enable practices to join the effort.
“The science of innovation adoption tells us that vaccinating the population at scale will necessitate focusing on people who are worried and have questions – which, let’s be honest, is the majority of us,” said Christine Bechtel, co-founder of 3rd Conversation. “When it comes to health questions, the first place patients think to go is their primary care doctor’s office. It will be another tragedy in a long line of missteps if we don’t equip these trusted doctors with the vaccine and resources they need to reach so many individuals in our communities.”