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According to a recent CMS survey, many Medicare beneficiaries reported forgoing non-COVID-19 care, such as regular check-ups, medical screenings and other vaccinations, such as influenza and pneumococcal. While the COVID-19 pandemic has caused healthcare providers to change how they operate to continue to provide services, such as using telehealth, immunization services is not a service that can be done using telehealth.

Ensuring that immunization services are maintained or reinitiated is essential for protecting individuals and communities from vaccine-preventable diseases and outbreaks and reducing the burden of respiratory illnesses. As a healthcare community, we must continue to remind individuals of the importance of continued preventive care, such as immunizations and cancer screenings. It is also important to encourage patients to talk to their doctor about which services are right for them.

Access the interim guidance for immunization services during the COVID-19 pandemic:

Great Plains QIN was enlisted by CMS to help increase COVID-19, influenza and pneumococcal vaccination rates in North Dakota and South Dakota. We believe if we work together to coordinate messages, share resources and offer joint learning opportunities, we can collectively combat vaccine hesitancy and increase vaccine confidence and rates in our communities. We value our partnership and want to work together to reduce duplication and decrease provider burden, If your organization is currently planning trainings or have projects underway that we could support or promote, please let us know.