CDC outlines IT needs for emergency vaccination clinics

CDC outlines IT needs for emergency vaccination clinics

The government is offering to help state and local governments design IT components of smallpox vaccination clinics in the event of an outbreak of the disease.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its smallpox bioterrorism response plan Monday. The Smallpox Vaccination Clinic Guide for large-scale clinics is part of Version 3 of the Smallpox Response Plan and Guidelines. The clinic guide is available online at www.cdc.gov. The full version of the response plan will be available soon.

The 48-page plan deals with the logistical and organizational concerns of setting up clinics capable of vaccinating 1 million people in 10 days in the event of a smallpox outbreak. It describes a clinic set up to treat 100,000 people a day in two eight-hour shifts. Among the estimated 117 people needed to staff each shift is one IT support person.

IT requirements specified in the guide are 12 desktop or notebook computers, each with an Internet connection if Web-based databases are used. The government will provide technical assistance in designing databases and developing vaccine-tracking systems. The amount of assistance available would depend on the scope of the emergency.

IT staff members would also oversee the five telephone lines and one fax line a large clinic would require.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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