The COVID-19 pandemic changed life as we knew it. One day all of us got up for work and headed out to our jobs as usual. The next day things changed. There were, and still are, mask mandates, social distancing protocols, guidance on how many people you should be around, etc. Now, well… now there may be some relief coming our way with vaccines becoming widely available to the greater public. While it isn’t known how long these mandates will stay in affect, it can be stated that it is important for the greater population to receive the vaccine. Wide spread vaccine distribution is vital for normal life to resume and for all of us to protect our communities at large. The first step in doing this, as healthcare professionals with the means to run a vaccine distribution center, is running and managing an efficient vaccine distribution clinic. Let’s talk about how this undertaking can be done properly at your CHC, FQHC, health department, or other vaccination facility.
Spreading the Word About Vaccine Distribution
Many individuals, nearly one third of the United States population, are reporting hesitancy with receiving the COVID vaccine. Among these individuals, the minority groups Latinx and African Americans are reporting the most hesitancy for receiving the vaccination. With that being stated, it is imperative that your organization develops a strong communication plan to address specific concerns of the community you are serving. If you discover concerns your community have, you can then be transparent in your messaging and present factual information to help quell concerns. When developing messaging, it may be useful to find members of your community that are held in high regard to help you deliver your messages to the greater population. Community members with “clout” may help to reinforce trust in messaging. As always, readjust your communication efforts as you move throughout structuring your clinic and as you receive feedback.
Creating Your COVID Vaccination Program
While communicating availability and importance of receiving vaccines is vital, it is also imperative to have a strong plan on how to structure, distribute, and administer the vaccines. Here is a brief, step by step process of items to consider as you work through managing a COVID 19 Vaccine distribution clinic…
- Ensure your clinic is enrolled in your state’s immunization program in order to receive immunization allotments
- Consider, prior to enrolling, if your organization is able to meet federal and jurisdiction-specific reporting requirements, if your staff can administer vaccines, and if they are trained to recognize adverse reactions
- Buy/Supply all necessary equipment for staff and patients
- Equipment includes: PPE, alcohol swabs, syringes, needles, Band-Aids, and stations for vaccination individuals
- Depending on the vaccine, you may also need to keep the vaccine at a specific temperature
- Assign roles, responsibilities, and target completion dates for specific tasks for your vaccination plan
- Who is the project lead? Who is in charge of inventory management? What are roles need to be filled?
- Determine site capacity to help assess how many individuals can be vaccinated per day/per week
- Decide on how many doses to order each week based on the allocation per your clinic’s jurisdiction
- Understand the specific ordering process/what is included in these orders
- Establish an inventory management system to keep track of what you have received, what has been administered, and the stock of all of your other supplies
- Remember, vaccination reporting within 24 hours of administration is required
Other Vaccine Distribution Considerations
As with any large undertaking, challenges are bound to happen with rolling out a vaccine distribution clinic. Some of the largest challenges include the hesitancy surrounding receiving the vaccine, storing the vaccine due to temperature storing needs, and the distribution effort as a whole. Technology can help make pieces of this process smoother for your organization. Automatic appointment reminders can save your staff the manual task of reminding individuals about their appointments for doses. Some solutions, like YOSI Health Vaccine Management Solution, allow patients to book their vaccine appointments from your website and complete their paperwork prior to arrival to help you focus on vaccine distribution.
Are you ready to manage your vaccine distribution clinic with software solutions to help streamline the process? Get started today with YOSI Health Vaccine Management Solution. Visit us at micromd.com/marketplace or call us at 800.624.8832
About the author,
Savanna is the Marketing Communication Specialist at Henry Schein MicroMD. She schedules emails to clients, prospects, and VARs, manages social media accounts, performs SEO research, writes blogs and eBooks, and much more while helping to support the simple yet powerful MicroMD solutions.
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