In the event of a pandemic, influenza vaccine will be distributed using the established vaccine distribution system, with contingency plans for storage, alternate distribution options, transport and security for vaccines. The distribution of vaccine will be accomplished using a myriad of tools that may include direct delivery to preregistered providers, or even mass public and private Points of Dispensing (POD) sites. Vaccine will be administered at the local level to priority groups determined by the State Health Officer using the best epidemiologic evidence and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Local communities, in partnership with the nine Louisiana Office of Public Health Regions have the responsibility to plan and implement PODs for administration of influenza vaccine to priority groups in their jurisdictions.
The amount of vaccine that will have to be managed (ordered, stored, distributed and accounted for) by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals Office of Public Health (DHH OPH) Immunization Program will be affected by the manufacturers¡® ability to produce and distribute vaccine. Therefore, the mass vaccination plan can be flexible and modified based on the status of vaccine technology, amount and speed at which the vaccine is produced and delivered, the characteristics of pandemic illness, and risk groups for severe disease ¨C factors that will remain unknown until a pandemic actually occurs.