The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently shared with immunization program mangers across the country the document “Increasing Access to Vaccination Opportunities: COVID-19 Vaccination upon Discharge from Hospitals, Emergency Departments, and Urgent Care Facilities.”
CDC is asking jurisdictions to distribute a portion of their existing COVID-19 vaccine allocation to hospitals, emergency departments (EDs), and urgent care facilities (UCs) to be used to vaccinate patients upon discharge.
EDs serve as the primary health care access point for up to a fifth of the U.S. population and UCs account for up to 29% of all primary care visits. These settings are therefore important access points for people who have not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19.
CDC is asking you to promote this effort as an important way to protect the communities you serve and to encourage them to participate in vaccinating patients against COVID-19 upon discharge if they are not already doing so. Please also help to spread the word that facilities interested in becoming a COVID-19 vaccine provider should reach out to their health department or visit How to Enroll as a COVID-19 Vaccination Provider for more information.
All available COVID-19 vaccines authorized by the FDA are acceptable for use by sites. There is no special allocation channel for this program and jurisdictions will be using the inventory they are already receiving. Facilities will want to carefully consider the implementation of this activity based on the communities they serve and which COVID-19 vaccine product(s) they intend to use. Facilities that use a product that requires two doses should ensure that patients understand the importance of receiving the second dose and also help the patient arrange a future appointment within the timeframe suggested by the vaccine manufacturer.
For hospitals, ED, and UC facilities already administering COVID-19 vaccines at discharge, there is no need to change established processes, especially those working well.
Visit COVID-19 Vaccination Planning and Partnerships for more information.