Prioritizing the COVID-19 Vaccine to Protect Patient Access to Diagnostics

  • 17-DEC-2020

WASHINGTON, DC – As physicians and health care professionals from around the United States begin to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, the College of American Pathologists urged pathologists and laboratory professionals to take advantage of this access during the initial phase of the vaccine’s distribution as they continue their heroic efforts against the pandemic.

“Stopping this pandemic requires our health care system to utilize all the tools we have available and the COVID-19 vaccine is an important one,” said CAP President Patrick Godbey, MD, FCAP. “Vaccine development in the United States is a rigorous process rooted in evidence and scientific protocols. The clinical trials for the vaccine have also included diverse communities to ensure safety  and efficacy for our patients. It is essential that early access to the vaccine be provided to all pathologists and laboratory personnel. Pathologists have led throughout this pandemic by bringing tests for the coronavirus online in communities across the country and we must ensure that patient access to testing continues. We must also serve as a resource to discuss the facts about the vaccine and answer questions patients, family members, and friends have about why they should get the vaccine when it is available to them.”

Following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations for the initial phase of the COVID-19 vaccination, health care personnel and residents of long-term care facilities first received the vaccines once approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Pathologists and laboratory personnel are included in this definition of health care personnel, which the CDC defines as “paid and unpaid people serving in health care settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials.”

The American Hospital Association, American Medical Association, and American Nurses Association have also encouraged their members to remain “committed to supporting the rigorous scientific and regulatory process, establishing safe and effective processes for administering vaccines to all who are eligible and choose to get vaccinated, and to making critical information about vaccines available as it is released.”

Many pathologists will be receiving the vaccine over the next several days. For pathologists posting images about their own vaccination experience, please use the hashtag #igottheshot in your social media posts.

About the College of American Pathologists

As the world’s largest organization of board-certified pathologists and leading provider of laboratory accreditation and proficiency testing programs, the College of American Pathologists (CAP) serves patients, pathologists, and the public by fostering and advocating excellence in the practice of pathology and laboratory medicine worldwide. As a 501(c)(6) membership organization, the CAP is the only entity representing pathologists with unrestricted advocacy capability and a political action committee, PathPAC. For more information, visit to watch pathologists at work and see the stories of the patients who trust them with their care. Read the CAP Annual Report.


  • Charles Fiegl
    Director, Advocacy Communications
    United States
  • Apoorva Stull
    Manager, Advocacy Communications
    United States