Background: Provision of immunization is a cornerstone of an effective emergency response plan for infectious diseases. H1N1 pandemic influenza A 2009 immunization presents a significant logistical and financial challenge to communities struggling to provide vaccine in an efficient manner.
Setting: On November 11-12, 2009, a community-wide H1N1 mass immunization point of dispensing was held in Louisville KY.
Population: 19, 079 individuals receiving vaccines.
Project Description: The Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness (LMDPHW) partnered with the University of Louisville (UL) to plan and implement a unique community-wide immunization program held at the UL Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. Individuals were defined as being vaccinated via the drive-thru strategy if they remained in their personal vehicle through all phases of the immunization project (signing the informed consent, receiving vaccine, etc.). Individuals were defined as being vaccinated via the walk-up strategy if they either (1) walked to the designated immunization tent, or (2) either drove their personal vehicle or (3) received free public transportation to the designated immunization tent, parked and walked to the designated tent to receive their vaccination. The current study determined the costs associated with the H1N1 mass immunization event. All real costs associated with the event were evaluated including personnel, materials (e.g., rentals, consumables), public transportation, and security. Costs for vaccine and supplies provided by the federal government were not included. Evaluation involved a comparative cost/dose for vaccine administered via drive-thru and via walk-up processes.
Results/Lessons Learned: The costs associated with drive-thru versus walk-in H1N1 mass immunization strategies were subjected to a comparative analysis. A drive-thru H1N1 mass immunization program may be a more cost-effective way in which to provide H1N1 vaccines in an urban setting. Parameters that may make the walk-up option a more attractive strategy were identified.