The Biden administration is continuing to implement efforts to increase vaccination rates in the United States. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced an additional healthcare provider payment incentive for COVID-19 vaccinations that are administered in-home to Medicare beneficiaries. This helps increase access to the vaccine for people who cannot easily leave their homes to go to a designated vaccination site.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has extended the deadline to use payments from the Provider Relief Fund that were received after June 30, 2020. Funds received between 7/1/20 and 12/31/20 have a usage deadline of December 31, 2021. Funds received between 1/1/21 and 6/30/21 must be expended by June 30, 2022. Please note: Payments received before June 30, 2020 still have a deadline of June 30, 2021.
National Community Pharmacists Association
The initial surge in demand for the COVID-19 vaccine is slowing down after hitting its peak. Supply of the vaccine now seems to be exceeding demand, as people who were enthusiastic about getting their shot have already gotten it and now the remaining population is on the fence or opposed to it. A survey reveals that people are highly comfortable getting vaccine information from their pharmacist. This is an opportunity for pharmacies to do some educational marketing on the vaccine and target the population that is “unsure”. These people may just need a healthcare professional to explain it to them and give them an easy way to get immunized.
60% of the US population has still yet to be vaccinated against COVID-19, and many in this remaining group face critical barriers to healthcare access. Experts have found that vaccination rates tend to trend alongside digital and economic barriers. There is a positive relationship between high vaccination rates and areas that have access to the internet, and vice versa. There is also a positive relationship between high vaccination rates and areas with high median household incomes, and vice versa. These graphs show that lack of internet access and poverty rates are correlating factors that are contributing to poor vaccination rates in certain geographic areas across the country.