Vaccination strike team

The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) employed nurses to form a “strike team,” which conducted several successful vaccination clinics. The department also used diverse venues to ensure that as many residents as possible had easy access to the vaccine at a time and place convenient for them.

When the ISDH initially began its vaccination clinics, it contracted with a vendor to obtain temporary nursing staff to vaccinate at each clinic. Ultimately, the ISDH secured the full-time services of eight nurses for 30 days to staff ISDH-sponsored vaccination clinics around the state. The team consisted of four Licensed Practical Nurses and four Registered Nurses, as well as one person responsible for entering data into the state’s Children and Hoosiers Immunization Registry Program (CHIRP) database.

Creating this “strike team” had numerous advantages and worked phenomenally well. It resulted in a close-knit and consistent group of people who were responsible for setting up and executing various vaccination clinics. At each location, the team would bring in all the supplies, and maintain the necessary records. Capitalizing on this model, the ISDH District Field Staff assisted the strike team at large venues. The field staff played a huge role in logistics support, registration assistance, and managing client flow.

The ISDH and its strike teams were responsible for the vaccination of thousands of people at different locations from December 2009 through early March 2010. A critical aspect of the ISDH’s H1N1 response was to bring the vaccine to the people for free. The ISDH hosted vaccination clinics near where people usually are, such as their workplace. Doing so ensured that many people were vaccinated because they had access to the vaccine at a convenient location and did not have to go out of their way to look for it.

Noteworthy points:

  • In December 2009, the ISDH organized an on-site vaccination clinic for its employees and their family members. As a result, 508 people were vaccinated. People could register online for the clinic and pick a time convenient for them.
  • The ISDH vaccinated 483 members of the general public by setting up shop on a daily basis in its Vital Records Division for two months and offering vaccine to individuals coming in for birth and death certificates.
  • In January, the ISDH provided vaccines to the state legislature. Planning for this clinic was done in a short time, so the agency rallied ISDH nurses (who do not provide direct patient care in their current job responsibilities) to vaccinate at the clinic; 264 staff members were vaccinated at that clinic.
  • Also in January, the ISDH hosted a two-day clinic for state employees and their families at the State Government Center Complex. Emails sent out to the center’s employees allowed them to register for convenient times. More than 2,300 people were vaccinated. A follow-up, second-dose clinic for children ages 9 and younger was also organized at the site; 85 kids received their second dose.
  • The strike team held clinics at the Indianapolis International Airport; 500 people, including passengers and employees, were vaccinated over four days. The strike team also served passengers and employees at airports in Fort Wayne, Evansville, and South Bend. More than 1,400 people were vaccinated at these three locations.
  • When the Indianapolis Children’s Museum held its free admission day on the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, vaccination teams were on hand; approximately 500 children and their families received vaccines at the museum.
  • A special “workers’ day” clinic was set up for downtown Indianapolis in February to target workers in the area, and 119 people were vaccinated.
  • At a movie day for senior citizens in Fort Wayne, the strike team was able to reach out to and vaccinate over 300 seniors.
  • The ISDH also targeted large companies such as FedEx, setting up clinics on site for the convenience of the employees. At FedEx, the team even provided a clinic for third-shift workers in the middle of the night. Vaccinators went to Conseco Fieldhouse prior to a Pacers’ basketball game to vaccinate employees, which included all temporary help that come to assist at the games.