• Family Physicians Support White House Actions to Combat COVID-19, Highlight Importance of Ongoing Role of Family Physicians

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
    Tuesday, December 21, 2021

    Statement attributable to:
    Sterling Ransone, Jr., MD, FAAFP
    President
    American Academy of Family Physicians

    “The American Academy of Family Physicians supports actions announced today by the White House to combat COVID-19 and the threat of the Omicron variant, including increased access to testing, vaccination, and relief for hospitals. Family physicians are a trusted source for vaccine education and have played an important role in the progress made to date, and we will continue to partner with the administration to mitigate the spread of the virus, prioritizing the role of primary care in vaccination efforts, and ensuring our patients have access to comprehensive care.

    “Increased access to vaccines as well as PCR and rapid tests, coupled with clear public health guidance, are valuable tools to help track and contain the spread of COVID-19. It’s also critical that distribution of vaccines and rapid tests are equitable and targeted to communities with the greatest risk and need.

    “Family physicians have been on the frontlines of the pandemic since day one, in their own practices and staffing ERs and providing care to hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Along with administering the COVID-19 vaccine and other routine immunizations, we regularly counsel patients and their families on the safety and efficacy of the vaccines, provide preventive care, address mental health needs, and help treat and manage chronic health conditions—all of which have continued throughout the public health emergency.

    “It is imperative that we use all available resources to vaccinate the eligible, unvaccinated population and get those adults who are fully vaccinated their booster. Family physicians and parents are concerned about rising rates of COVID-19 in children, which is why the AAFP knows we all must remain vigilant about other public health efforts to stem the virus. This includes wearing masks in public, properly equipping health care professionals with PPE, washing hands and practicing physical distancing. These protective measures significantly reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission and protects individuals who cannot be vaccinated, including those children under age five. We encourage people to discuss the vaccine with their family physician and visit familydoctor.org/vaccines to learn more about vaccines.

    “As our nation and the rest of the world continue to be threatened by COVID-19, family physicians, federal, state, and local governments, and the health care community must work together to effectively combat COVID-19 this season.”

     

    Editor's Note: To arrange an interview with Dr. Ransone, contact Julie Hirschhorn, 202-655-4949, or jhirschhorn@aafp.org.

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    Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 133,500 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the largest medical society devoted solely to primary care. Family physicians conduct approximately one in five office visits -- that’s 192 million visits annually or 48 percent more than the next most visited medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care.  To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, the AAFP's positions on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit www.aafp.org/media. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.familydoctor.org.