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AOA to Biden: Let ODs Administer COVID-19 Vaccine

The organization made its plea in a Jan. 25 letter to the president.

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The American Optometric Association has asked President Joe Biden to ensure that optometrists are allowed to administer COVID-19 vaccines.

The organization made its plea in a Jan. 25 letter to the president. AOA “urged the new administration to amend the current COVID-19 Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act declaration to recognize that all doctors of optometry can administer vaccines,” according to a post on the group’s website.

“As your team works to amend the PREP Act and to develop recommendations for states, we respectfully request that the Administration specifically note the role that doctors of optometry stand ready to play in bolstering the vaccination workforce,” reads the letter, signed by AOA President William T. Reynolds, OD. “Doctors of optometry have played a frontline role throughout the pandemic and will continue to do so.”

The organization has also sent a letter to congressional leadership on the issue.

AOA notes on its website that the vaccine rollout currently “lags the 1.8 million shots per day, seven days a week, estimate that has been posited necessary for widespread immunity by mid-2021.”

The group is planning a webinar at 9 p.m. Eastern on Feb. 4 with “an update on state efforts to vaccinate doctors of optometry, as well as focus on the scope implications of gaining vaccination authority.” It’s also released a new fact sheet: “Doctors of Optometry and Vaccine Administration: The Facts.”

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