Next Steps for the U.S. Government, States, and Communities
This interim guidance is the result of methodical and rigorous consideration of scientific data, historical analyses, ethical issues, and input from key stakeholders at the national, state, local, and community levels, and the general public. In addition, experience gained through numerous pandemic exercises and the response to the 2009 H1N1 pandemic has informed this updated guidance. The development of this interim guidance on allocating and targeting pandemic vaccine, however, is only one step in the planning process. Implementing this guidance to carry out an effective and efficient pandemic vaccination program will require many additional planning considerations in each community, including:
- Developing strategies and testing approaches for how persons in occupationally defined groups will be identified (in alignment with national guidance) and notified, including identifying and preparing vaccine providers who will vaccinate these targeted groups so that those groups are rapidly vaccinated during a pandemic;
- Considering if expanding access to vaccination may require policy and other approaches to increase the number of potential immunizers and sites that can provide vaccinations;
- Planning by state, tribal, and local officials on allocation and distribution of vaccine to providers and sites where it will be administered;
- Determining effective methods for administration of pandemic vaccines to targeted groups, including the possible use of vaccination clinics in closed Points of Dispensing (PODs)(c) mass vaccination clinics, occupational health clinics, hospitals, pharmacies, or other selected sites;
- Determining how a two-dose vaccination program for targeted persons will be implemented, if it is needed (e.g., communication/outreach ensuring that those who receive a first dose return for their second dose in a timely manner to achieve full immunity);
- Preparing vaccinators to document pandemic vaccine administration and to report information to their jurisdiction’s immunization information system and to utilize such systems to assess two-dose series completion and use of adjuvants, if required;
- Developing communication strategies and approaches to inform planners, vaccinators, and the public about pandemic influenza vaccine recommendations and changes that are made in order to facilitate implementation of guidance as it evolves;
- Developing strategies and materials for employers that have occupational health providers or will use mass vaccinators to immunize their critical workforce in alignment with this strategy; and
- Developing strategies and materials for healthcare providers, public health partners, and the public to clearly communicate the vaccine targeting strategy and support its implementation.
c. Closed PODs are in locations that are operated by a private organization for a target group which may include employees and their families and/or clients/members they serve. Closed PODs are not open to the public.