Health emergencies such as a widespread outbreak of infectious disease like small pox, pandemic influenza or anthrax may necessitate the need to rapidly mobilize public health resources to provide vaccines or other prophylactic medications to a large number of people.
During an outbreak the goal will be to vaccinate the entire population over a certain period of time on prioritized basis. Mass immunization clinics or centers are responsible for administrating these vaccines to the local community in response to outbreak.
The Medical Health Officers and Public Health Prevention are responsible for planning and implementing mass immunizations clinics in its respective geographical catchments areas. The goal of this mass immunization plan is to mobilize the internal mechanism, staff and resources within the effected area to respond to an outbreak of an infectious disease and provide mass immunization to residents in a timely and efficient manner in order to minimize illness and death.
The main objectives of mass immunization plan are:
- To provide immunization safely and as rapidly as possible, in order to prevent the spread of disease and protect the community.
- To manage and track the storage, allocation, distribution and administration of immunizations.
- To determine the supplies and equipment needed, identify available suppliers and plan for bio-medical waste management.
- To establish a system for documenting, tracking, and evaluating vaccine/antiviral uptake vaccines supply, report on any adverse effects and monitor the safety and effectiveness of the immunization campaign.
- To identify and secure clinics sites, especially larger sites, are probably the best locations for the immunizations. The Regional manager and occupational health nurses will look after the distribution of outbreak vaccine to a large numbers of people.
It is likely that vaccine shortage will exist, especially during the early phases of outbreak. Consideration must be given to flexibility in planning for severe vaccine shortages, moderate vaccine shortages and no shortages.
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