August 19, 2020 letter to Operation Warp Speed Regarding Development, Prioritization, and Distribution of COVID-19 Vaccinations
On August 19, 2020, ANA President, Dr. Ernest Grant, PhD, RN, FAAN sent a letter on behalf of the American Nurses Association (ANA) to offer the organization’s expertise and assistance in prioritization and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and to better define nursing’s role in these efforts.
August 19, 2020
Dr. Moncef Slaoui, Chief Advisor
General Gustave F. Perna, Chief Operating Officer
Operation Warp Speed
Re: Development, Prioritization, and Distribution of COVID-19 Vaccinations
Dr. Slaoui & General Perna,
On behalf of the American Nurses Association (ANA), I am writing to offer the organization’s expertise and assistance in prioritization and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and to better define nursing’s role in these efforts. ANA represents the 4 million nurses throughout the United States and its territories, providing frontline care to COVID-19 patients, their families, and to communities faced with concern and questions. As the trials for a COVID-19 vaccine continue to progress, ANA would welcome the opportunity to be a sounding board for Operation Warp Speed (OWS) as well as others within the Administration in the development of a deployment and messaging plan. ANA stands ready to partner with the OWS in communicating timely and accurate information to not only nurses, but to other health care providers and communities alike.
ANA recognizes that the development on the COVID-19 vaccine is moving at a record pace and questions remain on the efficacy and potential long-term effects as well as timely access to the vaccine. For a successful distribution and uptake of a COVID-19 vaccine, we request that OWS:
- Be transparent in the development and deployments of its vaccine prioritization and distribution plan.
- Conduct town hall sessions with health care providers and/or related health care organizations to hear from those on the front lines on how prioritization and allocation can be done successfully.
Americans have ranked nursing professionals as the most trusted profession in the country for 18 years in a row and as the largest resource in healthcare, nurses should play a central role with increasing public uptake of the vaccine. Nurses in all practices and settings have a long history of being involved in widespread education on the importance of immunization administration. For these reasons ANA maintains that nurses must be involved now, early in the process.
ANA appreciates the work of OWS to support the development of a lifesaving COVID-19 vaccine. The association stands ready to be a resource, a sounding board, and a partner in communicating information to the public. ANA will continue its commitment to encourage all Americans – including our frontline healthcare workers to get the influenza vaccine. We must ensure that our healthcare resources are available to those most in need and protect the most vulnerable this fall.
If you have any questions, please contact Ingrida Lusis, Vice President, Policy and Government Affairs, at Ingrid.Lusis@ana.org or (301) 628-5081.
Ernest Grant, PhD, RN, FAAN
cc: Alex Azar, Secretary of Health and Human Services
Francis Collins, MD, PhD, Director of the National Institutes of Health
Gary Disbrow, PhD, Acting Director, Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority
Mark Esper, Secretary of Defense
Robert R. Redfield, MD, Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Debbie Hatmaker, PhD, RN, FAAN, ANA Acting Chief Executive Officer