Hospital, ED, and UC facilities in the United States can play an influential role in building confidence in and improving COVID-19 vaccine uptake, as healthcare providers are the most trusted source of health information.
Using these additional sites to administer vaccines can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the community and reduce morbidity and mortality related to the disease.
Jurisdictions should allocate vaccines to EDs and UCs to be administered during patient discharge. Jurisdictions may want to start by prioritizing facilities located in counties with a high Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) ranking to help increase health equity in COVID-19 vaccination.
Jurisdictions should also consider enrolling hospitals designated by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) as Disproportionate Share Hospitals (DSH), hospitals included in the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program (SHIP), and other hospitals that serve a large number of people who have no other routine source of care, even if not located in high SVI counties.
Existing jurisdictional vaccine supply will be used; no separate allocation will be provided.
After establishing efforts to vaccinate patients upon discharge in EDs, jurisdictions should encourage the enrolled hospitals to expand COVID-19 vaccination efforts at discharge to all hospital departments. For example, postpartum discharges and patients being discharged to long-term care or rehabilitation facilities could be important additions to vaccination at discharge efforts.
After first focusing on increasing vaccinations in facilities in high-SVI areas, jurisdictions are encouraged to then scale up the activity and enroll hospitals, EDs, and UCs in other areas.
How Jurisdictions Can Help
Ensure that all enrolled facilities receive training for the proper vaccine storage, handling, preparation, administration, billing, and reporting requirements of the CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Provider Agreement (PDF). Jurisdictions should also educate facilities to offer vaccination to every eligible person at discharge, regardless of citizenship or state of residence.
Ensure providers do not miss an opportunity to vaccinate every eligible person by training facilities to follow clinical best practices for vaccination as well as best practices when managing inventory to maximize vaccination and minimize dose wastage.
Facilitate partnerships between provider organizations and relevant community-based organizations and professional associations to conduct capacity building, outreach, education, and vaccine confidence–building activities (CDC has separately published a Guide for Community Partners (PDF) working to increase vaccine uptake among racial and ethnic minority communities).