Jurisdiction: Indiana State Department of Health
Strategy: Pushing COVID-19 Vaccine to VFC Providers and SLV Clinics
Challenge: When the pediatric Pfizer vaccine rollout planning began, the Indiana State Department of Health was faced with several providers that were on the fence about taking the 5 -11 vaccine, with many considering a wait-and-see approach. The State had been experiencing a decrease in 12+ vaccine administration. It kept hearing that while vaccine access was not a problem, hesitant individuals relied on the healthcare provider to both carry the vaccine and make a strong personalized recommendation.
Solution: The immunization program explored the option of requiring all VFC providers to carry and recommend the vaccine as is done with other vaccines, yet being under an EUA presented a challenge to this immunization program. The immunization program used the initial allocation determinations as an opportunity to place pediatric vaccine in every office.
The program reviewed their enrolled providers and determined which providers would be seeing pediatric patients and which ones would be less likely to have a pediatric patient population. Based on that assessment, the immunization program then reviewed their 12-15 administration rate to determine the quantity to be pushed to each provider. Their reasoning was once providers had stock in their office – they would be more willing to offer the vaccine. Finding this opportunity, the Indiana immunization providers also removed the barrier for providers of not having any of the vaccine.
In Indiana, only the initial shipment was pushed, then providers were allowed to order what they needed. There was a massive demand for the first 2-3 weeks, which has leveled out. In addition, Indiana pushed vaccine to their school-located vaccination clinics.
Outcome: Program Manager Dave McCormick said it was not an easy rollout. Some vaccine had to be moved from providers’ offices that truly did not have a pediatric population. Not unexpectedly, a few providers were unhappy about this approach to rolling out the pediatric 5 -11 vaccine. Those providers were given the option to return or transfer the vaccine. Once the vaccine was approved and providers saw the public demand, very little vaccine was moved. Congratulations to Indiana for turning a challenge into an opportunity.