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December 25, 2020
President's Message: COVID-19 Vaccine for Community FPs - Fight the Fight!
The FAFP is committed to getting Family Physicians proper access to the COVID-19 vaccines being distributed through the state of Florida for their own personal protection against this virus. While it is disappointing the Governor did not directly include all Family Physicians (specifically community Family Physicians not affiliated with a healthcare system or hospital), we persevere as time is of the essence to contain the spread of the virus.

At this moment, here are my most practical recommendations to obtain direct access to the COVID-19 vaccine for your personal vaccination:
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Contact your local healthcare organization, academic center and/or hospital:  Many Family Physicians have privileges of some sort at their local hospital (from courtesy to active), and we have found that even courtesy privileges are adequate for FPs to acquire the vaccines allocated to be distributed through the hospital and/or large health system. If you do not have courtesy privileges, it is usually easy and quick to obtain (as there are no clinical prerequisites), and hospitals love saying they have a large number of physicians on staff (even if it is courtesy)

- Contact your county health department: Every Florida county health department has access to the vaccine, and especially in rural areas with no nearby hospital, the HD is the easiest way to get the vaccine.

My recommendation is to act quickly without delay.  

My personal experience as a community FP is I have privileges at a hospital in a large healthcare organization, and by calling them I was easily able to procure the vaccine without issue. Take the step and call to ask - whether it be your academic medical center, the local hospital or the county health department. Chances are you have better access to the vaccine than you might think. 

Family Medicine Strong, 

John Gross, MD, FAAFP
FAFP President
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