Background: Over a 5-month period in 2010, our county experienced six cases of meningococcal disease caused by a hypervirulent Serogroup C clonal strain with a 67% case-fatality ratio. Using the experience gained and web-based tools created for our H1N1 vaccination efforts, two highly efficient “no-wait” meningococcal vaccine clinics were initiated by our health department within 6 days of securing access to the necessary vaccine.
Setting: Large public university campus
Population: University students and staff under age 29 and household contacts aged 2-29. All had either never received a meningococcal vaccine or had received it three or more years ago.
Project Description: With little time to prepare, we were able to implement two highly successful meningococcal vaccination clinics. We used an open-source modification of our web-based H1N1 client-registration software to allow students to complete intake screening in advance, confirm they met vaccination criteria, select a 10-minute vaccination slot that spread participants evenly over time, and print an admission “ticket”. Patient advance registration was opened just two days before the first clinic; on-site registration was also available. Recruitment for volunteers/workers was accomplished using a web-based volunteer management system developed and managed by our key partner, and was opened just three days before the first clinic.
Results/Lessons Learned: With the help of essential partners and critical web-based tools to recruit and pre-register both vaccinees and clinic workers, over 10,000 people were screened and vaccinated in the two clinics. Over 300 workers from 22 counties and 25 organizations staffed the first clinic, immunizing over 7,600 people in 8 hours. Nearly all participants were vaccinated within just ten minutes of arrival at the clinic. The web-based client registration software (called PHEWR – Public Health Event Web Registration) will be freely available to any other public health agency, along with tutorials and planning manuals.