Physicians will be tapped to get vaccine hesitant off the fence

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The next obstacle for the White House and state health officials is getting more physicians involved in the nation's COVID-19 vaccination efforts, Politico reported May 10.  

Although physicians haven't played a large role in the vaccination effort, health leaders expect them to be important in getting hesitant Americans vaccinated, according to the report. 

To get more shots to physician offices, the White House and state health officials will have to overcome challenges, including cold storage requirements for some shots and the potential for wasted doses, according to the report. Pfizer and Moderna's COVID-19 vaccines must be stored at low temperatures, and vials can contain multiple doses that must be used within hours of opening. 

These could be significant issues at smaller physician practices — particularly in rural areas— and the federal government is working with states to focus on getting vaccines to primary care practices ranking high on CDC's social vulnerability index, Politico reported. The index uses 15 U.S. Census Bureau variables to identify where the most support is needed before, during or after disasters. 

The federal government has also considered encouraging emergency room physicians to administer shots when a patient is discharged, three sources with knowledge of the talks told Politico.

Overall, 115,530,780 Americans had been fully vaccinated as of 6 a.m. EDT May 10, or 34.8 percent of the country's population, according to the CDC's data tracker

Read the full Politico report here

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