We have created this toolkit to help community leaders, center administrators, and staff better understand the key steps in setting up a temporary, permanent, mobile, or stationary vaccine centers for COVID-19 vaccines.
This toolkit summarizes key parts of the FEMA Community Vaccination Center Playbook guidance for existing and new Community Vaccination Centers (CVCs). We’ve adapted information from the FEMA Community Vaccination Center Playbook and distilled the top considerations for center administrators and staff seeking to set up a small vaccine center (able to deliver up to 250 doses per day), with a focus on operational considerations for staffing, workflows, managing variability in volume, and administrative duties to ensure a safe and well-functioning vaccination center. Before setting up a community vaccination center be sure to check for existing community vaccination centers in the area so as not to duplicate efforts and create unnecessary workload. Existing sites may benefit from the coordination with other community-based organizations and the people they serve.
STAFFING A COMMUNITY VACCINATION CENTER
Ensuring that vaccination center sites are properly staffed is vital to the efficacy of the effort. Plan in advance and identify community partners, professionals, and volunteers who can assist in handling the roles and responsibilities necessary to successfully administer a center.
Take stock of current staff and workload
VACCINATION CENTER’S STORAGE AND CAPACITY CONSIDERATIONS
An important consideration of any vaccination center is its ability to properly receive and store materials with specific temperature requirements and expiration dates. Ensure those planning for a vaccination center clearly understand the expectations in addition to the number of staff needed to appropriately execute each step.
PATIENT SCHEDULING TOOLS AND TECHNOLOGY
The ability to schedule individuals to receive a vaccine is an important component of a site and may require varying technological needs – from a phone system to the use of an online scheduling software. Consider in advance what will best serve your community’s needs and strive to provide your services in ways they will understand to best avoid confusion and/or frustration.
Does your facility have the ability to take online and phone appointments?
Evaluate scheduling and calendar applications to plan out vaccination appointments
APPOINTMENT MANAGEMENT TOOLS
Create a vaccine calendar to manage vaccine appointments. Digitally managing a calendar provides ease in organization and viewing of appointments. Use your existing digital calendar that may attached to appointments or email. Can also set up a designated email for vaccine appointments that is linked to an online calendar such as iCal, Outlook, Gmail, etc.
CENTER WORKFLOW CONSIDERATIONS
To ensure patient and staff safety, proper operating procedures need to be established regarding patient registration, scheduling, site setup, personnel, inventory management, etc. The following include daily operations checklists and considerations on how to carry out those actions.
REGISTERING A VACCINATION SITE AND REQUESTING VACCINES
Once site and staff capacity are evaluated, visit your local public health department website to sign the facility up as a vaccination site and coordinate to receive vaccines.
Collaboration with your local public health department is important to best promote a seamless vaccination experience and overall tracking. Ensure the local health department knows of your vaccination center and remain connected to them throughout the duration of your effort. To view a comprehensive list of state, tribal, territorial public health department websites and forms, visit the Chamber of Commerce directory.
RESERVING ADMINISTRATIVE DAYS FOR OPERATIONS AND STAFFING
Designate a day of the week as an administrative day to organize the batch of vaccinations ahead, ensure staff are all accounted for and planned out, and equipment/supplies are in order. This day would ideally not be available for vaccination appointment to allow for planning ahead. Possible considerations for what the administrative days can be useful are listed below.
STAFF COMMUNICATION CHANNELS
Using online shareable documents will help with transparency and communication with staff and volunteers.
“DAY OF” LOGISTICS
With potential high volumes of people visiting your vaccination center each day, it is critical to maintain a heightened awareness of daily tasks and responsibilities. This will help keep the team organized and well informed, and help minimize errors. Establishing a routine, holding regular team check-ins and assigning individual daily responsibilities will all work toward promoting your site’s success.
Implement daily huddles to make sure safety is top priority
Consider creating group texts with staff to communicate information such as:
SITE SETUP CONSIDERATIONS
There are many logistical points to consider when setting up a vaccination center to promote a smooth process and to ensure both staff and visitors stay safe. Follow these best practices and layout options to confidently set up a secure and efficient space.
Site set-up and procedural workflow examples below.
ENGAGING TRUSTED COMMUNITY VOICES
USING SOCIAL MEDIA
REFERENCES AND RESOURCES
For ease, various documents including checklists and procedural workflow charts are linked below for individual download. The flow charts indicate possible set ups for vaccine centers in different settings such as fixed facilities, drive-throughs, and mobile centers. The checklists detail essential operations staff and centers should perform to ensure efficiency and patient safety.