Establish the purpose and goal(s) of your clinic, including target population, whether it is open to the public or only for targeted groups, numbers to be served, and vaccine(s) to be offered. Once the purpose is established, identify mission-essential staffing and resources appropriate for the clinic location and size.
Supplies and Materials
During the COVID-19 pandemic, protection must be available for staff and patients. Supplies required during the COVID-19 pandemic include:
- Alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol and hand soap
- Cleaning supplies for more frequent cleanings, using EPA’s Registered Antimicrobial Products for Use Against Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2external icon
- Cloth face coverings for patients who arrive without one
- Personal protective equipment (PPE)pdf icon for staff, including face masks, gloves, and eye protection, based on current guidance for the safe delivery of vaccination services
- Thermometers for checking patients’ temperatures before they enter the clinic, if required
Note that quantities may be more than was needed prior to the pandemic.
Secure sufficient supplies to meet the needs of staff and the highest anticipated number of patients. Supplies should include:
Get a list of supplies that may be needed to conduct a satellite, temporary, or off-site vaccination clinic.
- Alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
- Screening and documentation forms and vaccine information statements (VISs) or emergency use authorizationexternal icon (EUA) fact sheets
- Vaccines and diluents (if needed)
- Prep pads
- Sterile alcohol wipes (individually packaged)
- Needles in varying lengths pdf icon[1 page] appropriate for the expected patient population
- Sharps containers that are closable, puncture-resistant, and leakproof
- Emergency medical kit with epinephrine with signed medical orders
- First aid kit for staff and volunteer use
- Table covers (disposable) that can be changed if soiled
- Tables and chairs for vaccination stations
- Computers and/or tablets, if using for registration and/or review of vaccination history and documentation of vaccination (if occurring on site), printers (if needed), and 2D barcode readers (if using)
- Internet access or hotspots
- Outlet strips (multi-plug) and extension cords
- Office supplies, including pens, printer paper, etc.
For a more detailed supply checklist, see the Satellite, Temporary, and Off-Site Vaccination Clinic Supply Checklist.
Staff training is critical. Ensure all staff is trained to answer common questions about the vaccine.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, all staff should be on
when to use PPE, what PPE is necessary, how to properly don (put on)
and off (take off) PPE, and how to properly dispose of PPE.
Ensure clinical staff is trained in:
- Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and basic life support (BLS)
- Infection control practices
- How and where to document vaccines administered
- Vaccine storage, handling, preparation, and administration for the vaccine(s) being offered, using manufacturer instructions for the vaccine and CDC and Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) guidance found in:
- CDC’s Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit
- Vaccine Administration Recommendations and Guidelines
Training should include an observation component. Validate staff knowledge of and skills in vaccine administration with a skills checklistpdf iconexternal icon.
- You Call the Shots training programs about specific vaccines
Cross-train staff, if possible, to enable flexibility in meeting needs at various clinic stations as demand fluctuates.
A plan for medical management of an adverse event should also be in place and clinical staff should understand their roles in implementing the plan.
Vaccine Storage and Handling
Ensure plans are in place for maintaining vaccine at appropriate temperatures while it is stored and throughout the clinic day based on vaccine storage and handling guidance.
A contingency plan should also be in place, in case vaccines are delayed or compromised and need to be replaced.
Vaccination Clinic Layout
During the COVID-19 pandemic, physical distancing practices must be integrated into clinic flow and setup, including:
- A screening station at the entrance for temperature checks (if required) and any screening questions for COVID-19
- Vaccination stations should be at least 6 feet apart, and clinic flow should be one way and allow maintenance of 6 feet between individuals whenever possible, including in all waiting areas.
- Signage, banners, and floor markers to instruct patients to remain 6 feet apart from other patients and clinic staff and to move clinic flow in one direction
- Hard plastic barriers at patient contact areas, as appropriate, to provide barrier protection, and consider desks and counters at registration and screening areas to minimize contact
- Visual alerts such as signs and posters at entrances and in strategic places to provide instructions on hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, and cough etiquette
- Signage or staff to ask patients waiting to be seen to remain outside (e.g., stay in their vehicles, if applicable) until they are called in for their appointment or set up triage booths to screen patients safely to help reduce crowding in waiting areas. Provide adequate covered space, taking weather into consideration, for those asked to wait outside.
Considerations for vaccination clinic layout include:
- Design the clinic flow so it moves in one direction, with separate entrance and exit areas.
- Designate an area for vaccine preparation. Vaccines should not be prepared at individual vaccination stations. See Medication Preparation Questions and the Vaccine Administration Resource Library for additional guidance.
- Designate areas for special-needs patients (e.g., persons with disabilities or limited mobility).
- If more than one vaccine is offered, different vaccines should be administered at different stations to reduce administration errors.
- Provide adequate seating for patients in waiting areas and a table and seating for both the patient and vaccinator at each vaccination station for walk-through clinics.
- Provide dividers between stations and at least one privacy screen in case patients need to remove clothing to bare their arms for vaccination at walk-through clinics.
- Provide a private area where clients who experience acute adverse events after vaccination or who have medical problems can be evaluated and treated.
- Provide a protected area for staff to leave personal items and take breaks.
- Provide a separate administrative work area for on-site documentation of vaccination in the IIS or electronic health record (EHR), if applicable. If not done on site, plans must be in place for how vaccinations will be documented after the clinic.
- Use rope or cones, tape, and signs in multiple languages, as needed, outside the clinic entrance area and inside the clinic to show routes for patients to follow from station to station.
Clinic Promotion and Communication
To promote your clinic:
- Be clear about who the clinic is for—those who have an appointment, those who have been prescreened, healthcare workers, high-risk populations, etc. Use signage at the clinic to provide this information, including how to make an appointment or where to get vaccinated if someone doesn’t meet the clinic criteria.
- Provide instructions on how to set up appointments if prescheduling will be used.
- Scale your promotion to the amount of vaccine that will be available.
- Use multilingual and multimedia channels to widely post clinic purpose, dates, locations, times, and population that will be served.
Be prepared to:
- Communicate other options if scheduling is unable to meet demands (e.g., direct patients to other facilities, if possible).
- Use electronic communication, as appropriate, to share clinic information such as asking patients to download screening forms or review the VIS(s) or EUAexternal icon fact sheets before coming to the clinic.
- Test connections and operability of any computers, tablets, printers, and 2D barcode readers.
- Consider using a uniformed security guard to assist in managing crowds.
- Designate a space or system to secure vaccine and protect clinic staff and their valuables.