COVID-19 Strategic Action Framework: Vaccine Distribution

Page updated on Jul 30, 2020 at 9:49 PM

This document is congruent with Alexandria Health Department’s (AHD) Strategic Action Framework and is one of a series of frameworks outlining AHD’s COVID-19 Pandemic Response


Save lives and improve quality of life in Alexandria


  • Prevent deaths, hospitalizations, and infections due to COVID-19 through vaccine administration
  • Mitigate the long-term social, economic, and health burden of COVID-19 in the community
  • Provide vaccines through AHD’s public health justice principles
  • Administer vaccine efficiently and safely

Key Context

  • While there is not currently a vaccine for COVID-19, many are under development. AHD will support equitable vaccine distribution efforts once a safe, effective option is available to Alexandrians. This document is a dynamic plan that will shift as we learn more about vaccine options against COVID-19.
  • This is a living document and changes will be made based on updates in public health’s understanding of COVID-19, updated CDC and VDH guidance, and AHD resources and prioritizations. 
  • Vaccine distribution will be carried out in accordance with the local Public Health Emergency Management plans and policies.


Adapt scope and method of vaccine distribution

  • Adjust the scope of health department distribution of vaccine based on availability of vaccine through private infrastructure (pharmacies, clinics, and hospitals). AHD will monitor vaccine availability and gaps, paying particular attention to whether
    • Vaccine is limited or unavailable through private healthcare providers
    • Vaccine is accessible to uninsured populations through private healthcare providers
  • Adapt health department operations to align with directives issued from Virginia Department of Health and Centers of Disease Control and Prevention
    • Comply with phased approach mandates to vaccine distribution
    • Adhere to directives on prioritization of medically, socially, and occupationally vulnerable populations

Operationalize existing health department plans for vaccine distribution

  • Prepare for the possibility of distributing vaccine through public PODs (Points of Distribution) conducted by the health department
    • Complete full evaluation of POD sites
      • Assess sites for ease of access to people walking or using public transportation
      • Consider geographic location of sites to position distribution sites equitably throughout the City
      • Ensure sites are accessible to those with disabilities
      • Determine capacity for basic facility needs such as restrooms and trash
      • Calculate onsite vaccine refrigeration capacity
      • Collaborate with Alexandria Police Department (APD) and Transportation and Environmental Services on crowd control and traffic management plans
      • Work with the Sheriff’s Office and APD on security plans
    • Increase number of available personnel with skills necessary for POD operations
      • Obtain access to vaccine management systems for additional health department staff (AHD tracks vaccine inventory and records immunization administration)
      • Train additional personnel in cold chain management (the processes which keep vaccine at the correct temperature during storage and transportation)
      • Recruit, train and mobilize vaccinators from Health Department, Medical Reserve Corps, Department of Community and Health Services, and Alexandria City Public Schools
      • Provide guidance and operational training necessary for EMS to adopt and participate in the EMS Vaccinator program
      • Engage bilingual volunteers and City staff to participate in POD operations
      • Ensure staff access to language lines
      • Recruit additional general POD staff from volunteer and City agencies
    • Obtain materials
      • Medical supplies
      • Personal Protective Equipment
      • Registration and documentation supplies
      • Safety supplies
      • Signage
  • Review plans with agencies that have closed POD capability (Closed POD agreements exist with entities such as Long-Term Care Facilities and Emergency Medical Services who are able to administer vaccine to their own population of residents and/or employees)
  • Utilize AHD’s annual influenza vaccine POD event to exercise COVID-19 vaccine distribution plans (this year, AHD’s influenza immunization PODs will be held at the end of September/early October)

Revise existing Point of Distribution (POD) plans to include COVID-19 infection prevention measures

  • Provide training to all POD site staff on COVID-19 infection prevention measures
    • Maintaining 6 foot physical distancing
    • Wearing masks – both POD staff and vaccine recipients
    • Use of hand washing and hand sanitizer
    • Use of personal protective equipment such as gowns, gloves, N95 respirators, and face shields/goggles
  • Assign Biosafety Officers to each POD site who will monitor and assure POD staff’s use of infection prevention measures
  • Configure sites to maximize physical distancing
    • Design drive-through sites
    • Create walk-up site pedestrian flow plans which allow enough space to maintain a 6 foot distance
    • Install visual 6 foot markers for pedestrians
  • Display reminders to wear masks
  • Provide hand sanitizer for public use

Create a vaccine communication plan

  • Distribute timely information to partners and the public regarding the COVID-19 vaccine and its distribution
  • Disseminate information in multiple languages
  • Use a targeted approach for reaching specific populations such as those who are
    • Medically vulnerable and/or advanced age
    • Uninsured
    • Living in crowded housing
    • Requiring assistance for physical access or functional needs
  • Follow the standard process for vaccine education and consent: inform individuals of the risks and benefits of the vaccine, how to report and obtain medical attention for adverse reactions
  • Maintain mutual awareness of activities of other National Capitol Region jurisdictions