ASHA Calls on State Governors to Give SLPs and Auds Priority Access to Approved COVID-19 Vaccines
As the nation’s governors develop their plans for how COVID-19 vaccines will be distributed in their states, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) urges that audiologists and speech-language pathologists (SLPs) be given priority access to the initial distribution of vaccines approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
While some of these clinicians likely will be included in initial distribution due to their employment settings, such as those working in hospitals and long-term care facilities, many whom are currently providing in-person services may not be covered in this first priority group. This is especially problematic given the nature of the disorders that audiologists and SLPs diagnose and treat, which often require direct contact with patients—as well as the unique needs of their patient populations, which can make mask use difficult. Taken together, these factors put audiologists and SLPs at heightened risk of contracting COVID-19.
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