Guide to Hosting COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics for Community-Based Organizations
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- Vaccination is our leading public health strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Getting communities vaccinated against COVID-19 will help to prevent outbreaks.
- Convenience is one factor that contributes to community members deciding to get vaccinated.
- You can make getting vaccinated more convenient for your organization’s staff and people in the community by hosting COVID-19 vaccination clinics at a location familiar and accessible to the community.
How to host COVID-19 vaccination clinics
Step 1. Identify and select a vaccination provider
Vaccination providers handle all aspects of vaccine administration, including:
- On-site set-up
- Clinical and administrative staffing
- Administration of vaccines
- Post-vaccination monitoring
Providers in your area include:
- Local, county, or state health departments. Find your local or county health department. Local health departments may also be able to provide direct support for clinics, outreach, and education, and connect you to other community partners.
- Pharmacies. Most pharmacies participate in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program. Find a pharmacy in your area.
- Community health centers. Find a federally supported health center near you.
- Doctors, nurse practitioners, hospitals, and other health care providers. Find additional vaccine providers at vaccines.gov.
Also talk to your vaccine provider about offering flu and other routine immunizations along with a COVID-19 vaccine at your vaccination clinics.
Step 2. Pick dates and a location for your vaccination clinics
Work with your selected vaccination provider to determine dates, times, and a location for your vaccination clinics. Also determine roles and responsibilities for everyone involved—you can get a sense of how to do so by looking at this On-Site Vaccination Clinic Toolkit.
Depending on which vaccine you offer at your clinic, you may have to schedule more than one clinic so recipients can get all recommended vaccine and booster doses:
- The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (for people age 5 and older) requires 2 initial doses, 21 days apart.
- The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine (for people age 18 and older) requires 2 initial doses, 28 days apart.
- Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine (for people age 18 and older) requires 1 initial dose.
Other considerations include:
- Building access
- Physical space requirements
- Technology requirements
- Need for extended hours for organization staff
- Work disruption
- Conflicts with other community activities
- Additional operational costs
You may choose to host your vaccination clinics at a community location where people can safely gather, such as:
- Community recreation centers
- Houses of worship
- Community health center
As an alternative, you could provide transportation to and from a vaccination site in the community.
Step 3. Promote your vaccination clinics and invite community members to get vaccinated
Work with the selected vaccination provider to develop outreach materials for your community that describe the vaccination clinics. Be sure to include the following information:
- Which vaccine is being offered and why it is recommended
- Where and when the vaccine will be offered.
- How they can register for these services.
- How they can access the emergency use authorization fact sheet for the vaccine being offered.
- Where they can access pre-vaccination checklists.
- Who they can contact if they have questions or concerns.
You can engage, inform, and encourage community members about COVID-19 vaccination through your organization’s typical communications channels, such as by letter, email, text, phone call, or social media.
To encourage turnout for vaccination clinics:
- Work with trusted messengers. Trusted individuals from your community—such as small business owners, staff from community centers, health care providers, school principals and sports coaches, firefighters and police officers, and local news figures—can help hold conversations about COVID-19 vaccines. Connect with a local doctor or business owner and invite them to participate or speak at vaccine-related events. Find a doctor at your local health center.
- Partner with other community-based organizations and faith-based organization. CDC has developed a field guide for community and faith-based organizations to help them increase vaccine confidence and uptake in the communities they serve.
- Partner with members of the community to develop trusted peer-to-peer materials and have conversations Work with people in your community to design, develop, and provide feedback on communications and materials about COVID-19 vaccines. Involving community members is an invaluable way to ensure your materials are responsive to local needs.
- Use YOUR voice as a leader in your community You are a trusted messenger in your community. To help drive turnout, partner with other trusted messengers, like local doctors, and use your social media platforms, host events, and interview with local journalists about vaccination efforts in your community.
All communications should be translated and available in various languages, as appropriate.
Step 4. Host your vaccination clinics
Protection of minors. Consent laws vary across states and territories. For example, most—but not all—states require vaccine providers to get a parent’s or guardian’s permission to give a vaccine to a child under age 18.
Check with your state/territory health department to find out about local parental/guardian consent requirements.
If you plan to vaccinate minors and parents/guardians will not be present during vaccination, it is critical to protect minors by ensuring processes are in place to:.
- Verify children are eligible to be vaccinated ahead of the clinic by reviewing consent forms to ensure they are complete and screening for contraindications and precautions.
- Ensure only children who have parental consent are vaccinated by confirming a child’s identity.
Providing transportation to and from the clinic. Transportation is a barrier to getting vaccinated. Your organization can help people safely get to and from a vaccine site by arranging transportation for those who may have difficulty getting to their vaccine appointment.
- Handling vaccine side effects. Side effects following a COVID-19 vaccination, such as a sore arm at the injection site and flu-like symptoms, are common. Work with the vaccine provider to develop protocols for monitoring vaccine recipients for at least 15 minutes after they get a vaccine.
Remind vaccine recipients about the second dose (if needed). If you provide the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine at your vaccination clinic, be sure to remind vaccine recipients about the need to get a second dose. Also include this information in your outreach materials for community members.
Step 5. Share your progress
Share your progress with other organizations that may be able to replicate your successes in their communities.
Please promote your vaccination efforts on social media using the hashtag #WeCanDoThis.
The steps above are an adaptation of the following, more detailed instructions on how to facilitate community vaccination clinics:
- Resources for Hosting a Vaccination Clinic
- On-Site Vaccination Clinic Toolkit
- Guidance for Planning Vaccination Clinics Held at Satellite, Temporary, or Off-Site Locations
Other resources available to help you make community vaccination clinics happen can be found on the We Can Do This campaign website. It features vaccine-related materials for multiple audiences on a variety of topics and formats and in nearly a dozen languages.