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Strategies used to meet the challenges of mass COVID-19 vaccination by the pharmacy department in a large academic medical center.

by Breakenridge, Margaret; Gachoya, Julianna; Guthrie, Pauline; Kishore, Anil; Leftridge, Zetta; Li, Quan; Norman, Sarah; Sebakijje, Justin; Spence, Clyde; Willis, Cynthia G.
Citation: American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy. 78(18):1724-1731, 2021 09 07.; .Journal: American journal of health-system pharmacy : AJHP : official journal of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.Published: 2021; ; ; ISSN: 1079-2082.Full author list: Breakenridge M; Gachoya J; Guthrie P; Kishore A; Leftridge Z; Li Q; Norman S; Sebakijje J; Spence C; Willis CG.UI/PMID: 33895789.Subject(s): *COVID-19 | *Pharmacy | Academic Medical Centers | COVID-19 Vaccines | Humans | Mass Vaccination | SARS-CoV-2 | VaccinationInstitution(s): MedStar Washington Hospital CenterDepartment(s): PharmacyActivity type: Journal Article.Medline article type(s): Journal ArticleDigital Object Identifier: (Click here) Abbreviated citation: Am J Health-Syst Pharm. 78(18):1724-1731, 2021 09 07; .Abstract: CONCLUSION: Key strategies such as systemic coordination, early preparation, detailed planning, operating procedure development, and staff education and engagement proved successful in facilitating preparation of thousands of COVID-19 vaccine doses for hospital employees within a short period of time. Copyright (c) American Society of Health-System Pharmacists 2021. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: [email protected]Abstract: DISCLAIMER: In an effort to expedite the publication of articles related to the COVID-19 pandemic, AJHP is posting these manuscripts online as soon as possible after acceptance. Accepted manuscripts have been peer-reviewed and copyedited, but are posted online before technical formatting and author proofing. These manuscripts are not the final version of record and will be replaced with the final article (formatted per AJHP style and proofed by the authors) at a later time.Abstract: PURPOSE: Highly effective coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines have brought hope for ending the pandemic. Unprecedented mass vaccination started first among healthcare workers. The aim of this report is to describe key strategies undertaken by a large hospital pharmacy department to meet the challenges of preparing a large quantity of COVID-19 vaccine doses in a short period of time.Abstract: SUMMARY: MedStar Washington Hospital Center (MWHC) was in the first group of hospitals in Washington, DC, to receive Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in December 2020. The pharmacy department faced challenges including stringent vaccine storage requirements, a need for specific equipment and workflow, limited funding, and staffing constraints. The pharmacy department's senior leaders defined pharmacy responsibilities, budgeted for equipment, participated in vaccination center design, and instructed pharmacy informatics personnel. The vaccine coordinators were appointed to oversee all vaccination-related operations. An ultra-low temperature freezer was installed 2 weeks before arrival of the first shipment of vaccine. All pharmacy order entry tools and operating procedures were standardized, and staff training and schedules were finalized by December 15. The first dose of the vaccine was administered on December 16 at the vaccination center. Pharmacy staff members dispensed the vaccine doses and monitored patients. By January 6, 2021, MWHC had vaccinated 3,812 employees with their first vaccine dose, with an average of 228 doses administered daily.

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