Imaging professionals should be considered among the healthcare personnel prioritized for receiving COVID-19 vaccinations, according to the Society for Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI).
The SNMMI has joined with other healthcare groups to ensure that imaging professionals are included in the first wave of vaccine distribution, known as phase 1a. On December 1, a committee of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that healthcare personnel who provide direct patient care in inpatient or outpatient settings get the COVID-19 vaccine first.
The SNMMI noted that on December 7 it joined with the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) and the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS) in sending letters to state public health authorities to ensure that their early vaccination distribution plans include radiologic technologists, radiation therapists, nuclear medicine technologists, and sonographers.
These professionals work directly with patients in setting up and performing medical imaging exams, and if they are not available, "patients may go without needed examinations and treatments," the group noted.
On December 14, the SNNMI joined with other groups in a letter sent to the National Governors Association that supported the CDC's vaccine distribution prioritization, and it specifically asked that healthcare personnel -- including imaging professionals -- be considered in phase 1a of the vaccination schedule.