“As we enter the next phase of the COVID-19 vaccination process, which will include new vaccine mandates, recommended boosters for some patients and COVID-19 vaccines for children under 12, additional actions are needed to support primary care practices,” the AAFP wrote.
The letter, signed by Board Chair Gary LeRoy, M.D., of Dayton, Ohio, was in response to the Sept. 9 announcement of the Path Out of the Pandemic plan.
“Primary care physicians are well positioned to provide extensive counseling to vaccine-hesitant patients, help ensure adults receive recommended booster shots and provide children with COVID-19 vaccines once they are authorized,” the Academy said, prefacing a number of policy recommendations. These included
The letter also urged policies to boost information sharing among retail pharmacies, primary care practices, and other community sources of COVID-19 vaccines and treatment.
“The burden should not fall on primary care physicians to determine if their patients received the COVID-19 vaccine from a community vaccine provider,” the AAFP said. “Further, primary care physicians should be notified if their patients are prescribed or administered monoclonal antibody treatment for COVID-19, so they can provide appropriate follow-up care. Increasing reliance on pharmacists and other providers outside of patients’ medical homes squanders the value of physician-patient relationships and leads to care fragmentation.”