Information on COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution for Public Health Agencies

Rave Mobile Safety has announced a COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Option that will enable public health agencies to determine persons who must have priority vaccination, customize alerts to these individuals, provide reminders for second vaccinations, and then get follow-up checks after the vaccination is complete.

On November 20, representatives of Pfizer and German biotech firm BioNTech submitted an emergency use authorization request for their COVID-19 vaccine saying that it has 95% effectivity in protecting the body against the SARS-CoV-2 novel coronavirus. Later this week, a group of independent specialists convened by the Food and Drug Administration will evaluate the request and are supposed to give their recommendation for an initial circulation of the vaccine.

Pending the approval, the federal agency designated to distribute the vaccine to state health departments – “Operation Warp Speed” – is prepared to deliver 6.4 million doses of the vaccine promptly. The agency has finished the dry shipping runs to make certain that the public health agencies getting the vaccine could handle it. Hopefully, 40 million doses of the vaccine will be distributed by the end of the year.

Who Will Get COVID-19 Vaccine First?

Even though decisions regarding who gets the COVID-19 vaccine first will be by state, public health agencies are required to adhere to the guidelines set by the CDC´s advisory committee. These guidelines suggest prioritizing the healthcare staff, other essential employees, persons at high risk of COVID-19 infection due to underlying medical problems, and citizens over sixty-five years of age.

Although it should be simple to identify medical personnel and other essential staff, public health agencies might encounter difficulties in identifying at-risk people with inadequate information. Very few states have special needs list of at-risk persons; and, those that do require self-registration – that means that a lot of people can be overlooked from the registries because of a lack of knowledge concerning the service or hesitation to share personal information.

Resolving Identification Problems with Smart 911

The CDC website has a page devoted to Disability and Health Emergency Preparedness Monitoring which lists the tools public health agencies may use to learn about people with health issues in their jurisdictions and know their needs. The tool with the most coverage is the Smart 911 system – a safe, national database made to identify the people who may need help during an emergency.

The Smart 911 system provides persons or their carers the option to make an online safety profile that lists any medical problems they may be battling or any mobility problems they may face in an emergency. This data is solely available to call center dispatchers receiving a 9-1-1 call and public health authorities – who may use it to identify at-risk people and those who might need support visiting a medical center to get a vaccination.

The Rave Mobile Safety Vaccine Distribution Solution

The Vaccine Distribution Solution by Rave Mobile Safety offers public health agencies a method to view Smart 911´s crowd-sourced records so as to know at-risk persons who ought to get priority vaccination. When identified, public health agencies could contact each individual by means of SMS text, voicemail or email message, let them know where and when they will be given the vaccine, and know if it is essential to coordinate transportation to and from the health center.

When individuals have gotten their first vaccination, public health agencies can instruct the Vaccine Distribution Solution to deliver text reminders for the second vaccination, and follow-up communication to check for side effects. Through this system, public health agencies could better distinguish at-risk people, better track distribution progress in their area, and mechanize vaccine team coordination.

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Christine Garcia is the staff writer on Calculated HIPAA. Christine has several years experience in writing about healthcare sector issues with a focus on the compliance and cybersecurity issues. Christine has developed in-depth knowledge of HIPAA regulations. You can contact Christine at [email protected]. You can follow Christine on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ChrisCalHIPAA