Statement from Tom VanCoverden, NACHC President & CEO:
“The National Association of Community Health Centers applauds the work of the CDC, FDA, and top scientists and researchers in the development and now distribution of COVID-19 vaccines that our nation desperately needs to win the war against the horrendous pandemic that has sickened and killed so many.
As the trusted medical home for 30 million underserved and uninsured people in 14,500 rural, urban and frontier communities all across America, our Community Health Centers excel in their mission to expand the reach of health care. They have stood at the forefront for addressing natural disasters and multitudes of public health emergencies. For over the past 50 years, they have served on the health care front lines in their communities achieving an unparalleled record of success in health promotion/disease prevention, safeguarding health and giving millions of people a chance for healthier and more productive lives.
During this next phase of massive inoculations of America’s population, which some aptly describe as a ‘herculean effort,’ community-based health centers are prepared and eager to move forward working in coordination with federal, state and local governments and public health authorities to protect the nation’s most vulnerable by providing access to the vaccines. Equally important to successful nationwide vaccination efforts, health centers will call on their own health professionals, including outreach workers, consumer boards and community partners to help build trust and dispel misinformation about the safety of and need for COVID-19 vaccinations. The goal is to get people vaccinated in a safe and timely manner and rid our communities of this threat that has caused untold suffering and death.
Eradication of the coronavirus is essential to the health of the entire country – putting millions of people back to work and kids back in their schoolrooms. Working together as a nation will no doubt ensure we win the war against the public health crisis we now face and hopefully, lend new insight and lessons learned about the value of investment in a strong public health infrastructure for the future.”