ASHP Urges Widespread Use, Equitable Allocation of COVID-19 Vaccines

March 8, 2021
Skylar Kenney, Assistant Editor

In their statement, ASHP argues that each vaccine has been proven effective in reducing severe symptoms, decreasing hospitalizations, and decreasing death from COVID-19.

The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) has issued a statement urging widespread use and acceptance of all vaccines currently approved by the FDA to combat SARS-CoV-2. The statement also calls for these vaccines to be distributed equitably based on the greatest public health impact and irrespective of geographic or economic status.

“ASHP’s position is that all 3 FDA-authorized vaccines have–based on the available evidence–proven efficacious in preventing serious illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19," said Daniel J. Cobaugh, PharmD, DABAT, FAACT, vice president of publishing and editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, in a prepared statement. “Individuals should obtain whichever vaccine is immediately available to them to protect themselves and others from COVID-19, support the establishment of herd immunity, and effectively respond to the pandemic.”

In their statement, ASHP argues that each vaccine has been proven effective in reducing severe symptoms, decreasing hospitalizations, and decreasing death from COVID-19, and that it is therefore imperative to ensure they are distributed and accepted with haste. The organization cites fears of vaccine hesitancy and misinformation based on antivaccine myths and urges health care professionals to message confidence in all of the currently approved vaccines.

ASHP also states that there is no acceptable reason to allocate a vaccine based only on population differences or socioeconomic status. They argue that, as each vaccine has demonstrated a benefit to all populations evaluated for the emergency use authorization by the FDA, it is paramount that they are distributed based on where they will have the greatest public health impact and not simply based on logistical ease or the wealth of the populations in question.

ASHP, a 79-year-old organization representing pharmacists who serve as patient care providers in acute and ambulatory settings, intends to evaluate claims of vaccine efficacy and educate on COVID-19 vaccine safety. The society produces scientific content designed to drive optimal medication use and health outcomes, and they plan to assess the advantages and disadvantages of each vaccine in different populations.

REFERENCE

ASHP urges widespread use, equitable allocation of FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines [news release]. ASHP; March 5, 2021. Accessed March 8, 2021. https://www.ashp.org/news/2021/03/05/ashp-urges-widespread-use-equitable-allocation-of-fda-authorized-covid19-vaccines