The Department of Health and Human Services will begin collecting hospital data on the number of healthcare professionals and patients who have received Covid-19 vaccines amid a shaky national push to broadly and rapidly immunize the public.
The agency on Tuesday unveiled the change, asking hospitals to report once a week on progress in immunizing healthcare professionals and patients. Data are not initially published for individual hospitals, according to senior HHS officials. HHS expects to publish the data after quality control, they said.
Hospital staff were among the first to be vaccinated from the limited early U.S. supply of vaccines because of their exposure to the virus and critical work. But the national rollout of vaccines has been slow and stony. Hospitals have virtually no mandates for workers receiving the vaccine. Studies show that not all staff are willing to be vaccinated.
Vaccinations at the end of last year reached approx. 2.8 million doses administered, far less than the 20 million federal target.
The Trump administration said Tuesday it would release additional vaccine supplies and called for the immunization of adults over the age of 65 and those with health problems that put them at risk. The additional vaccines are doses that were set aside as the second of the two shots required.