Drive-thru Flu Vaccinations in Virginia
Since 2012, ASPR’s Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) and CDC’s Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) program have been working to align and coordinate emergency preparedness efforts, linking programs targeting the medical community and the public health sector, respectively. This program alignment contributed to a recent successful seasonal flu prevention event in Virginia.
Every year, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) purchases about 20,000 doses of influenza vaccine that are dispensed as part of its mass vaccination exercises held across the Commonwealth. In October 2015, VDH’s Central Shenandoah Health District (CSHD) vaccinated approximately 515 citizens in 2.5 hours during its 2015 drive-thru influenza point of dispensing (POD) exercise. The event featured personnel and resources, including influenza vaccine, POD trailers, and other materials, supported entirely by HPP and PHEP funds. The exercise was a great example of seamless integration of public health, health care, Medical Reserve Corps, the Community Emergency Response Team, and emergency medical services responders representing Virginia’s Northwest Healthcare Coalition. Similar efforts are repeated across the Commonwealth annually.