Governors met with the White House to share best practices and innovations in improving access to COVID-19 vaccines, building confidence, and ensuring vaccine equity.
by Brittney Roy
On America’s road to recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, the country is united in its desire to put an end to this deadly disease. Governors have led state efforts to address the public health and economic challenges of the last year, but now there is one area where everyone can be part of the solution: Get a vaccine.
From South Carolina to Oregon (each has administered more than 3.4 million vaccines), Washington to Georgia (each more than 6.5 million vaccines given), more than 150 million Americans have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Six Governors joined President Biden this week to share their states’ best practices and innovations in improving access to COVID-19 vaccines, building confidence, and ensuring equity among diverse populations and regions.
- Governor Janet Mills discussed Maine’s incentive programs, “your shot to get outdoors” and equity work through efforts to vaccinate homebound populations; drive thru vaccine clinics for adults with developmental and cognitive disabilities; free transportation; and late night vaccine clinics for those who work late shifts
- Ohio Governor Mike DeWine talked about using mobile clinics, vaccine maintenance program for nursing homes, bringing vaccines to teachers and colleges, and working with businesses and labor unions.
- Governor Spencer Cox shared Utah’s public information campaign, utilizing family doctors, faith-based and community leaders, and the creation of a portal that allows any organization that would like to vaccinate their employees, congregation, or members to request a pop-up clinic.
- Minnesota Governor Tim Walz spoke about the importance of prioritizing data collection, using third-party entities such as the Mayo Clinic, to ensure data integrity; using local trusted partners; doing door-to-door outreach, and vaccinating people where they are.
- Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker highlighted mass vaccination sites and regional coordination, outreach to congregate care sites, prioritizing homeless shelters and other efforts to ensure equity, in addition to working to ensure consistent messaging with partners, organizations, and community leaders.
- Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham discussed prioritizing New Mexico’s 23 sovereign nations; developing a registration system; creating a portal that allows any organization that would like to vaccinate their employees, congregation, or members to request a pop up clinic; setting aside 25 percent of vaccines to be used to respond to situations quickly; and using Medicaid as another tool for incentives.
All of these efforts have made the United States a leader in vaccine distribution. Now we must finish the job. All COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the United States have been shown to be safe and effective at preventing COVID-19. Based on what we currently know they also help keep people from getting seriously ill in the extremely unlikely event that they do contract the disease; and may reduce spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, which helps keep us all safe.
For more on COVID-19 Vaccine Incentives please see this NGA Memo. If you have questions about the vaccine, please use the map below for state/territory specific answers, or find additional vaccine information for your jurisdiction. And please do your part: Get the vaccine.