Field Report: Auburn’s H1N1 Vaccination Clinic

AUBURN, Ala.

Effective planning helped Auburn University’s H1N1 flu vaccination clinic run effectively, according to the campus safety administrator who managed the clinic.

During the seven-hour clinic on Oct. 15, the school dispensed nasal-spray vaccinations to 750 people – about seven of 10 were students; the remainder were employees and dependents, said Susan McCallister, an associate director with Auburn’s department of public safety and security.

The school used a 1,100-square-foot room in the student center for the clinic, so the medical clinic’s other activities wouldn’t be disrupted, McCallister said. The center had room for 24 individuals waiting to receive the vaccine.

“There was especially good participation from our international community,” McCallister said. “We received a lot of positive feedback about efficiency and the speed of delivery.”

From start to finish, people who arrived for vaccinations spent less than 15 minutes for screening, consultation and vaccine administration. The university had ordered enough vaccine, so it didn’t face a shortage or run on supply.

The school used only the nasal-spray vaccine (one squirt into each nostril) that had been ordered for the school by the state’s health department from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Enough vaccine had been ordered.

Individuals wanting the vaccine entered the center, reviewed laminated copies of the vaccine information statement (VIS) and pharmacy privacy policy, and completed the top section of the vaccine consent form. On the other side of the room was a row of tables with 10 clinicians on one side and 10 chairs on the opposite side.

The clinicians screened out people who were taking certain medications or listed certain medical conditions that aren’t compatible with the vaccine. People with heart or lung disease, weakened immune systems, arthritis or a recent organ transplant weren’t eligible.

When individuals were cleared to receive the vaccine, they were given the completed consent form and offered copies of the VIS and privacy policy. They were then sent to a smaller room for vaccination. Individuals remained standing while vaccinated. There were three tables set up with two vaccinators per table. Anyone who was “flu vaccine naive” – had never had a flu vaccination of any kind before – was then sent to chairs in the adjacent hallway to be observed for up to 15 minutes before being released.

The school elected not to charge an administrative fee to dispense the vaccine, which streamlined paperwork, because Auburn administrators didn’t have to collect insurance information. Auburn pharmacy students set up an online spreadsheet for volunteers to sign up for designated dates, time slots and positions.

“We will be holding two more clinics next week, and expect to continue offering them weekly until either our supply runs out or interest wanes,” McCallister said. “We expect to have greater participation next week after word gets out about how quick and easy it was.”

The H1N1 virus has now spread to 41 states, according to the latest CDC update.

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