Although the vaccine may be helping to turn the corner on the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re not out of the woods just yet. Hospitalizations have started to level off in some parts of the state and counties are slowly reopening, but other regions remain teetering on the brink and are faced with the prospect of having to implement crisis standards of care.
While we had hoped that a new year would bring some relief, many of the issues and concerns that hospitals faced early in the pandemic and through the holiday season have followed them into the beginning of 2021.
To address these concerns, Hospital Council has worked with the state leadership of the California Department of Public Health and the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services to implement a “strike team” that will provide on-the-ground situational awareness on COVID-19 issues to over 70 Bay Area hospital CEOs.
But hospital capacity and staffing aren’t the only things that your hospitals are dealing with at the moment. The acquisition and distribution of the vaccine — which is top of mind for most Californians, if not most Americans, these days — remains a priority for hospitals. The good news is that hospitals are a key component in providing the vaccine and are proud to partner in that capacity, but the challenges to distribution are many:
- Lack of vaccine and demand that is outpacing supply
- Lack of staff to administer the vaccine
- Multiple layers of regulatory guidance at the local, state, and federal levels that conflict with the inherent desire to administer the vaccine quickly and equitably
That’s why Hospital Council has been in ongoing discussions with public health and leaders of all levels of government in order to facilitate the distribution of the vaccine, and to make sure that hospitals’ concerns are known.
Despite the roadblocks that may pop up along the way, I know that your hospitals will meet this moment — as they always do — and continue to provide the best possible care to all Californians.