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Flu vaccine shortage. Experiences from Kittitas County, Washington. Nancy Goodloe, EdD Administrator, Kittitas County Public Health Department. Introduction. Historical Framework Health Department decreasing role as flu shot provider Annual surveillance, coordination, planning

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Flu vaccine shortage

Flu vaccine shortage

Experiences from Kittitas County, Washington

Nancy Goodloe, EdD

Administrator, Kittitas CountyPublic Health Department


  • Historical Framework

    • Health Department decreasing role as flu shot provider

    • Annual surveillance, coordination, planning

    • Recent philosophical discussions about our role in this issue




  • 700 doses --- Oh, my gosh!

What? Not Again!

Where would you start
Where Would You Start?

A) Call a staff meeting; organize and schedule a three-day flu shot clinic.

B) Send a press release to the media.

C) Formulate a distribution plan.

D) Begin to identify high-risk groups in the county.

Initial concerns
Initial Concerns

  • Rookie program manager to coordinate.

  • Developing our distribution plan:

    • What are our guidelines? Other issues?

    • Who/where are our high risk groups?

    • What information do we need from them?

  • What are our messages

    • to the press?

    • to the public?

Key Messages?


  • Rookie Manager/Nursing staff identified high risk groups using CDC guidelines.

  • Nursing/clerical staff phone surveys to providers, nursing homes, vaccine providers (local pharmacies/groceries, etc.), developmental disability agencies, Aging & Long Term Care, CWU health center, etc.

    • Who needed? How much?Who has? Anticipated?

  • Four-phase plan for distribution and administration – provider/BOHAC feedback.

What do you think
What Do You Think?

  • Getting feedback on our flu vaccine distribution plan from local healthcare providers and from our Board of Health Advisory Committee was a necessary step in our process.

A) Strongly Agree

B) Agree

C) Disagree

D) Strongly Disagree

How well did ph system in our county function
How Well Did PH System in Our County Function?

  • Fantastic cooperation from everyone involved; excellent support throughout the county.

    • Providers, Fred Meyer, Safeway, Rite-Aid, CWU Health Center, KV Community Hospital

  • On-going communication internally/externally was a challenge. It happened but we really had to work at it. Took a lot of staff time.

  • Public Health became the cog in the flu vaccine wheel, the central point for information in county.

Public Health

Distribution administration

  • Challenges

    • Coordinating messages to staff/public/press (small community, everyone knows who you are)

    • Lack of depth in clerical staffing(where is my administrative assistant?)

    • “Clinic from hell” physical plant(confidentiality issues,crowding in hallways)

Challenges continued
Challenges, continued

  • Geographic layoutof our county

  • Evolving nature in whichwe acquired additional flu vaccine.

  • Budget considerations


  • Evolving nature in which we acquired additional flu vaccine—distributed more vaccine than we have in many years

  • Strengthened communication/collaboration with community partners.

    • CWU EMT students

    • Fred Meyer/Rite-Aid connection

  • First Press Conference

Opportunities continued
Opportunities, continued

  • Good feelings from thorough process – leadership role.

  • Support for county-wide conversation about how we do flu vaccine in our county in the future; public health role?

Lessons learned
Lessons Learned

  • PH Risk Communication training needed.

  • Internal paradigm shift needed—use Incident Command structure to offset scarce resources.

  • Rookie managers with strong skills can rise to the occasion.

  • Electronic registration system worked well; database management needed.

Lessons continued
Lessons, continued

  • Flexibility is key.

  • Historical experience of staff is invaluable.

  • Re-examining the role of local public health in flu vaccine distribution in this county will be a worthwhile endeavor.

  • We are not finished yet!

That s the kittitas story
That’s the Kittitas Story!