PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 15, 2020 – The American College of Physicians (ACP), representing 163,000 internal medicine physicians, supports the recommendation of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in persons 16 and older in the U.S. under the Food and Drug Administration’s Emergency Use Authorization. ACP also supports the addition of an amendment to the 2021 Adult Immunization Schedule to include use of COVID-19 vaccines.
ACP strongly encourages physicians, other health care professionals and patients to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as vaccine supply becomes available. ACP appreciates that the initial allocation of COVID-19 vaccine will include health care personnel. This will help ensure that the health care system can deliver care and better protect patients, and helps enable physicians to fulfill their ethical responsibility to limit risk to patients by taking appropriate infection control precautions including immunization.
ACP also calls for the ongoing evaluation of vaccine effectiveness as well as safety monitoring through programs such as the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) and V-SAFE, a new smartphone-based program that uses text messaging and web surveys to conduct post-vaccination health check-ins for individuals who receive COVID-19 vaccines.
In addition, ACP urges physicians and other healthcare workers and the public to continue use of other preventive measures to reduce virus transmission, including wearing masks, practicing physical distancing, frequent hand hygiene with soap and water or alcohol-based sanitizer, covering coughs and sneezes using a bent elbow or paper tissue, and following other preventive hygiene protocols.
“The approval of the first vaccine is a significant step in managing the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jacqueline W. Fincher, MD, MACP, president, ACP. “However, we must also continue using other preventive measures to help reduce transmission and protect patients, ourselves and our loved ones.”
ACP will continue to monitor the authorization and ACIP recommendations for use of additional COVID-19 vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccine candidate from Moderna, Inc., which will be reviewed by the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee on December 17, 2020.
About the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 163,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
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Contact: Andrew Hachadorian, (215) 351-2514, AHachadorian@acponline.org