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CEO Corner: Responding to Donor Requests for Priority Vaccine Administration

Alice Ayres
Published:  12/15/2020
vaccine vials

In the past several days, donors have begun asking AHP members whether there are ways to improve their position in line to receive the coronavirus vaccine. I have also had several reporters ask me about hospital policies for administering vaccines to donors.

It will be no surprise to any of you that the answer is clear: hospitals in the United States will be following federal, state, and local guidelines to administer vaccines and will not prioritize any group other than those stated in those guidelines. 

In conversations with members, though, you’ve asked for help with scripting. Here is a starting point to guide conversations with your team and your donors:

"Distribution of the vaccine is highly organized. The CDC has released national guidelines, which each state has interpreted to create state-specific policies based on their own health situations. States are working with hospitals and other local distribution points to deliver the vaccine based on the state’s policies. Each lot of the vaccine is numbered, and every distribution site is required to report the use of each vial to ensure the vaccine is being delivered based on state guidelines. States have penalties for non-compliance, including rescinding the distribution site’s permission to distribute the vaccine.

Hospitals will not prioritize vaccinations for any group other than those prioritized by the CDC and state and county guidelines. 

Donors have shown incredible generosity throughout the pandemic. Hospitals have seen 25 to 50 percent increases in new donors in 2020, and life-long donors have increased their donations to help hospitals and healthcare workers fight this horrible disease. These generous gifts provided much needed PPE, meals, and shelter for clinicians; funding to convert hospital rooms into negative airflow rooms for COVID positive patients; iPads for patients to communicate with their family members; and so much more. There is still significant need, including to purchase the freezers required to store vaccines safely.

In no case do hospitals ever provide a different quality of care for donors, or any other patient, and COVID is no exception. All non-profit hospitals are mission driven, and while each of those missions is written slightly differently, they all focus on elevating the quality of care for all patients and improving the health of all people in our communities. Donors support those missions through their gifts, and because of those gifts, hospitals are able to fund research, technology, and improvements to care for everyone who receives care at our hospitals."

We’d love to hear from you. What are you saying to donors when asked these questions? How is your team responding, and what tools can you share with the AHP membership? Let us know at communications@ahp.org.

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Meet The Author

Alice Ayres
Alice Ayres
President and CEO
Association for Healthcare Philanthropy

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