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Monday Rx: Season Greetings, Vaccine Roll Out and LACMA Action

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Vaccine Roll Out Warrants Improvement


On Friday, the Food and Drug Administration authorized drug manufacturer Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine for emergency use, making it the second vaccine available in the United States. Like the one from Pfizer and BioNTech, Moderna’s vaccine requires two shots spaced weeks apart, however shipment and delivery of the Moderna vaccine will be managed by the federal government under Operation Warp Speed. Some state leaders have voiced confusion and frustration after learning their shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines would be cut, alleging issues with the pharmaceutical company’s production and distribution. Pfizer has since said the problem is not on their end, but the federal government’s, saying in a statement that they ‘have millions more doses sitting in our warehouse but, as of now, we have not received any shipment instructions for additional doses.’

Second, the military leader of Operation Warp Speed, Gen. Gustave Perna, said Saturday that he takes sole responsibility for last week’s confusion over the allotment of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to states, which led more than a dozen governors to complain that they had received far fewer doses than originally promised.


LACMA Action


We have been hearing from our members and their colleagues relative to the vaccine distribution for community-based physicians, their staffs, and patients. LACMA president Dr. Diana Shiba and I have been in ongoing contact with Los Angeles Public Health officer, Dr. Muntu Davis, who is also a member of the LACMA board of directors and Dr. Barbara Ferrer, head of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

Below are sample member concerns:

“One of my colleagues in Northern California currently does not have a hospital affiliation. It is difficult for her to get a timely vaccination, like I have just done an hour ago. Whom should she contact? What do our Los Angeles community physicians and healthcare workers do? They are exposed just like I am, but do not have the safety net for PPE, testing and vaccines that hospital workers have?”

“This is important to physicians in small practices as there has been no communication on this issue as well as how physicians who are not members of a hospital medical staff can get immunized.”


What You Need to Know

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has assured that all physicians are prioritized for the vaccine as part of the first phase (Phase 1A). There are several tiers of the Phase 1A which prioritize vaccine distribution for people at risk of exposure to COVID-19. We are currently in Tier 1 of Phase 1A, which is prioritized for acute care, psychiatric and correctional facility hospitals, long-term care facilities, dialysis centers, and paramedics and EMTs providing emergency services. The state then expects to move rapidly into Tier 2 of Phase 1A, which includes primary care physician offices and clinics, community clinics, urgent care clinics, home health care workers, and intermediate care facilities. Specialty physician offices and clinics fall within Tier 3 of Phase 1A. For more information about Phase 1A click here.

The state's current commitment is that all physicians and office staff with direct patient care are prioritized for the vaccine during Phase 1A. You will be contacted soon regarding the logistics of receiving the vaccine for yourself and your office staff.

We will be sharing member perspectives with our public health officers and offer recommendations relative to communications, information, updates and more in the days to come. It is essential that community-based physicians who may not have privileges at their local hospital, have access to the vaccines being distributed at present time to ensure that they and their staffs are protected to protect their patients.

As information becomes available, we will alert our members through future email, digital and social media channels.


Your Chance to Win PPE!


We are raffling off 2 boxes of PPE every 2 weeks until December 31, 2020.  There will be 2 winners (every 2 weeks) and each box contains a 2 month supply of PPE valued at nearly $4,500.

Individual self-paying members are eligible for this raffle. 

How to enter:
To be eligible for this raffle, simply renew your annual membership online or send in your renewal check in the mail and you will automatically be entered for the raffle drawing during that 2-week time frame.  Please note that your name will be entered for only one raffle.

Winner Announcement:
You will receive an email from Lisa Le informing you that you’ve won.

Email Lisa Le at

Enter the current raffle now by clicking the renewal link below.

Renew Membership


"There’s always a light at the end of the tunnel."

Gustavo Friederichsen
Chief Executive Officer
Los Angeles County Medical Association
“If it matters to our LACMA members, it matters to me.”