New AMA Policy Aimed at Combatting Misinformation through Public Education Campaign to Promote Safety and Efficacy of COVID-19 Vaccines
Published: Friday, November 20, 2020 10:16 am
CHICAGO - With misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine development process circulating widely, physicians at the Special Meeting of the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates adopted policy today aimed at educating physicians on speaking with patients about COVID-19 vaccination, bearing in mind the historical context of "experimentation" with vaccines and other medications in communities of color, and providing physicians with culturally appropriate patient education materials.
Educating the public about the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine programs, particularly among populations that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, is an urgent priority. Under the new policy, the AMA will help physicians address patient concerns, dispel misinformation, and build confidence in COVID-19 vaccination. The policy also calls for the AMA to form a coalition of health care and public health organizations, inclusive of those respected in communities of color, committed to developing and implementing a joint public education program promoting the facts about, and encouraging the acceptance of, COVID-19 vaccination.
"Given the unprecedented situation with COVID-19 and with vaccine development moving at a rapid pace, many of our patients and the public have questions and concerns. It is essential that we speak together as a strong unified voice across health care and public health, inclusive of organizations respected in communities of color, to use scientific, fact-based evidence to help allay public concerns and build confidence in COVID-19 vaccine candidates that are determined to be safe and effective," said AMA President Susan R. Bailey, M.D. "We will continue to monitor the scientific data regarding safety and effectiveness during and after the vaccine development process to ensure the proper safeguards are in place to deliver a safe and effective vaccine."
Building on the AMA's efforts over the last several months advocating for a clear and transparent COVID-19 vaccine development process, the new policy calls for the AMA to continue to monitor the process to ensure that the evidence continues to support safe and effective use of vaccines among recommended populations. In October, the AMA launched a webinar series to ensure physicians are continuously informed about the federal review process for COVID-19 vaccine candidates. The first two webinars featured fact-based insights from the nation's highest-ranking subject matter experts working to protect public health from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including an overview of the FDA's vaccine review process and an update from the CDC on COVID-19 vaccine development and distribution.