2015 Pandemic Influenza Readiness Assessment Among US Public Health Emergency Preparedness Awardees

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Abstract

Objectives

To assess how US Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) awardees plan to respond to an influenza pandemic with vaccination.

Methods

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention developed the Pandemic Influenza Readiness Assessment, an online survey sent to PHEP directors, to analyze, in part, the readiness of PHEP awardees to vaccinate 80% of the populations of their jurisdictions with 2 doses of pandemic influenza vaccine, separated by 21 days, within 16 weeks of vaccine availability.

Results

Thirty-eight of 60 (63.3%) awardees reported being able to vaccinate their populations within 16 weeks; 38 (63.3%) planned to allocate more than 20% of their pandemic vaccine supply to points of dispensing (PODs). Thirty-four of 58 (58.6%) reported staffing as a challenge to vaccinating 80% of their populations; 28 of 60 (46.7%) reported preparedness workforce decreases, and 22 (36.7%) reported immunization workforce decreases between January 2012 and July 2015.

Conclusions

Awardees relied on PODs to vaccinate segments of their jurisdictions despite workforce decreases. Planners must ensure readiness for POD sites to vaccinate, but should also leverage complementary sites and providers to augment public health response.

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