The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is encouraging hospitals, emergency departments and emergency care facilities to administer COVID-19 vaccines to unvaccinated patients at discharge, reports AHA News.
The agency said jurisdictions should distribute part of their vaccine allocations to these facilities and may want to prioritize providers in counties with a higher social vulnerability index to help increase vaccine equity.
“After establishing efforts to vaccinate patients upon discharge in EDs, jurisdictions should encourage the enrolled hospitals to expand COVID-19 vaccination efforts at discharge to all hospital departments,” the CDC said.
Jurisdictions will not receive a separate allocation of vaccines for this effort and should use their existing inventory, the agency said.
About 52% of the U.S. population has received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine and 42% is fully vaccinated. Available government data indicates that about 174.2 million people have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, including about 144.9 million people who have been fully vaccinated by Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine or the two-dose series made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. More than 598,000 total deaths have been reported in the U.S. over the course of the pandemic.
The New York Times reports that In December, federal regulators gave emergency use authorization to two-dose vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. Regulators authorized Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose vaccine in February, but recommended a pause in its use on April 13 because of reports of blood clots in a small number of patients. All 50 states paused or recommended that providers pause those vaccinations. The government ended the Johnson & Johnson pause on April 23, clearing the way for states to resume vaccinations.
Johnson & Johnson doses that were already administered or distributed continued to appear in the federal vaccination data during the halt in use. ALSO READ: Pros and Cons Of COVID-19 Vaccines