A navigator for a Missouri vaccine provider said his company’s vaccine program was at risk of shutting down if the Trump administration moves to restrict its eligibility.
Key points:The navigator said he has already received more than 1,000 requests to vaccinate children and that he plans to remain on staff as navigators continue their work for vaccine providersNew federal rule could make it more difficult to receive the vaccineNavigator says his company has received more requests for vaccine coverage than it has received fundingNavigator, who was hired by vaccine provider AlliMedix, said he is also facing new threats from the Trump White House to block its eligibility for vaccine funding.
He said he would not be able to take his work on the vaccine program into a new phase of vaccine development and said that if the government does not address his concerns about vaccine funding, he will be forced to take a position on the future of his business.
“It’s a very, very scary time for our country, for our state, for this country,” Navigator said.
“I have to protect my family and my business.”
Navigator’s company, AlliMeds, was founded by doctors and pharmacists in Kansas and Colorado.
The company has a partnership with a Missouri health department, which has a vaccine provider.
Navigator said he does not plan to stay on as navigator if the new federal rule was implemented.
“If this happens, my business is going to be completely shut down, so I don’t know what’s going to happen,” he said.
Navigators are contracted to work for a vaccine providers who provide vaccines for millions of people.
AlliMD has received over 1,300 requests to receive vaccine coverage from vaccine providers since January.
“We’ve been receiving more requests than we’ve received vaccine funds, and so far we have received more and more,” Navigators assistant navigator Joe Schuster said.”[The vaccine providers] have been asking us for additional vaccine money, which is going toward vaccine development, which are critical to our survival and survival as navigors.”
Navigators have been working with vaccine providers to obtain vaccine coverage since the federal government established a vaccine safety review panel in November.
“They’re asking us, ‘What do you need to do to ensure we can get vaccines on the market?’ and I said, ‘I’m a navigator and I can’t do that,'” Navigator added.
“So they have told us, this is the best thing we could do for us.”
Schuster said the navigator has received several requests for more vaccine coverage but that he did not have the authority to provide the requested money.
“That’s where we are now,” Schuster told Al Jazeera.
The navigators’ work is closely tied to the vaccine provider and the vaccine maker, who are responsible for coordinating the vaccine development process and distributing the vaccine to the public.
“When we’re looking at a vaccine program, we’re not just looking at the risk of it getting shut down,” Schusters said.
Schuster explained that if a vaccine is funded by the vaccine manufacturer, the vaccine distributor is responsible for distributing it.
“You have to get your own approval from the vaccine company, and that’s where the risks and benefits come into play,” he explained.
“There’s always a risk associated with getting vaccines that aren’t approved for the market, but the vaccine is approved and is safe, and the vaccines are the most reliable ones.”
Schusters said that he has received requests from vaccine manufacturers and vaccine providers in the past for more funding for vaccines, but that the vaccine providers are now requesting more vaccines than they have ever requested.
“These vaccine providers have had so many requests for their vaccines,” he added.
The federal government has given the navigators up to $200,000 a year in funding to help them meet the demand for vaccines in the United States.
Schusters explained that the navigates are now facing a dilemma.
“What do we do with this money?” he said, adding that it could be difficult to obtain funding for navigators who do not have any vaccines.
“For us to be able the navigats to continue to work, it’s going on a temporary basis, but it’s very important for us to have this money so we can continue to be working and get our vaccines on to the market.”
Navigate said he plans on continuing his work.
“This is going into the future, and I’m going to continue my work, but I’m also going to do all I can to help the navigants continue to do the work,” he told Alijonews.
“They’re all on this journey together.”