Help People with Functional, Language, or Cognitive Needs

Some individuals may need assistance getting care, learning about response efforts, or getting to a vaccination clinic. Community partnerships and working relationships formed prior to an emergency will be crucial for reaching as many people as possible. Work with organizations and individuals in the community who have frequent interaction with community members who may not be served as easily during an emergency.

Some situations to consider:

  • People experiencing homelessness or who have unstable housing may be difficult to reach for vaccination and follow-up to determine the vaccination “take.” They may also be difficult to reach for contact tracing or for fever surveillance if they have been exposed.
  • Tourists or other travelers may not be able to return home if they are exposed to smallpox and require vaccination or quarantine, or if travel restrictions are instituted.
  • Individuals who do not speak English as their first language may not easily understand public health messages or other important information not given in their native language.
  • People with hearing or visual impairments or other physical challenges may need help at a vaccination clinic, or may need alternative methods for reporting their temperatures during fever surveillance. They may also need extra help with vaccination site care.
  • Older adults may need help getting to vaccination clinics, or may need alternative arrangements for vaccination.
  • People in rural or remote areas may also be difficult to reach for contact tracing, vaccination, or monitoring for symptoms after exposure to smallpox.
  • Institutionalized individuals will not be able to travel to vaccination clinics and may not have the information or resources they need to protect themselves from exposure. Work with medical and administrative staff at these institutions to ensure they know how to protect the people under their care.
  • Seasonal farm workers may be unfamiliar with a community’s resources or may not have the ability to travel to receive healthcare or vaccinations.

Additional Resources: