Leading Health Organizations Unite to Implement National COVID-19 Vaccination Plan

October 20, 2020

ARLINGTON, VA—A collaboration of healthcare and public health organizations have united to form the National Associations’ COVID Vaccine Leadership Council to support implementation of the nation’s COVID-19 vaccination plan. The council is co-chaired by the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) and the American Pharmacists Association (APhA).

Each of the 19 council members have been directly involved in supporting and sustaining ongoing efforts to prepare for COVID-19 vaccine distribution and administration. The council’s members will strategize, discuss, exchange, and work toward solving some of the challenges expected as jurisdictions begin to implement the CDC COVID-19 vaccination playbook at the state level. The coalition’s work will complement the efforts of CDC, HHS, and Operation Warp Speed, and support state-level efforts.

“The COVID-19 vaccination campaign will be historic and aggressive,” says Mitchel Rothholz, chief of governance and state affiliates at the American Pharmacists Association. “Our coalition will assist with strategies, foster discussions, and exchange information and ideas, as we confront and solve the challenges organizational members can expect to face in the coming months.”

“This is a monumental task,” says Jim Blumenstock, senior vice president, pandemic response and recovery, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. “We must make sure that we’re collaborating across traditional public health and healthcare sectors so that we’re ready to effectively and efficiently distribute and administer the approved vaccines. Our united approach will make the process more effective and efficient, our nation stronger, and communities safer. We want to give the public confidence and enhance public trust in the vaccination process.”

The coalition members plan to address such areas as:

  • Supporting a cohesive and collaborative national approach to vaccine prioritization, distribution, and administration.
  • Developing strategies to further promote full and equitable partner engagement.
  • Coordinating efforts to maximize vaccine access and immunization rates.
  • Fostering the most effective ways to provide vaccination to critical populations.

Participating Organizations

Association of State and Territorial Health Officials
American Pharmacists Association
American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy
American Immunization Registry Association
American Medical Association
American Society for Consultant Pharmacists
American Society of Health-System Pharmacists
Association of Immunization Managers
Big Cities Health Coalition
Healthcare Distribution Alliance
Immunization Action Coalition
National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations
National Association of Boards of Pharmacy
National Association of Chain Drug Stores
National Association of Community Health Centers
National Association of County and City Health Officials
National Community Pharmacists Association
National Governors Association
National Indian Health Board

For more information contact:

  • Jim Blumenstock, senior vice president, pandemic response and recovery, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.
  • Mitchel Rothholz, chief of governance and state affiliates, American Pharmacists Association.


ASTHO is the national nonprofit organization representing the public health agencies of the United States, the U.S. territories and freely associated states, and Washington, D.C., as well as the more than 100,000 public health professionals these agencies employ. ASTHO members, the chief health officials of these jurisdictions, are dedicated to formulating and influencing sound public health policy and to ensuring excellence in public health practice.