Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01)
December 17, 2020
WASHINGTON – Today, following this week’s Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issuance of an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer-BioNTech, and expected EUAs of additional vaccines, Congressman Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01) sent a letter to Governor Doug Ducey expressing concern with the Arizona Department of Health Services’ Draft COVID-19 Vaccination Plan, requesting answers about critical infrastructure that must be in place to vaccinate seven million Arizonans over the next six months.
“As we prepare for what will undoubtedly be a complicated vaccination process, we must ensure that community health centers and other medical facilities—many of which have already been stretched thin by this public health crisis— have the support they need to safely and rapidly vaccinate families and seniors throughout Arizona’s rural, tribal, and vulnerable communities,” said O’Halleran. “This distribution process must be transparent and organized so that Arizonans in every corner of our state are informed and able to receive the vaccine safely, as soon as possible.”
In the letter, O’Halleran asks the Governors’ office to
- Clarify and specify the state’s prioritization of who will receive initial doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, particularly as doses are limited;
- When are all individuals in the 1A category expected to be vaccinated?
- How will individuals in the 1B and 1C category be prioritized?
- Detail how the is state planning on working with CHCs, Rural Hospitals, and other health care providers to ensure that all Arizonans, including those in rural areas, are able to be properly vaccinated as resources allow;
- Confirm if additional resources necessary to build proper refrigeration facilities and train health care workers to ensure that initial doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are stored properly;
- Insist that a comprehensive public relations campaign be prepared to ensure that Arizonans are aware that the vaccine is safe and to provide broader information as to when members of the public will be able to receive the vaccine; and
- Detail how the state is planning on coordinating with tribal and rural health officials to ensure hard-to-reach populations can be vaccinated.
View O’Halleran’s full letter, HERE.
Today’s correspondence follows two unanswered letters sent to Governor Ducey requesting regular member and staff meetings throughout the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency.