Niagara County Department of Health prepares for COVID-19 vaccine

Posted at 10:26 AM, Dec 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-14 10:26:29-05

LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Niagara County Department of Health announced it is preparing for the the COVID-19 vaccine.

“With emergency preparedness planning, training and exercising every year, the County is well positioned for a quick and vital vaccination campaign as soon as safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is available,” said Daniel J. Stapleton, Public Health Director.

The department of health will utilize a point of dispensing (POD) which it describes as a centralized location where local agencies dispense medical countermeasures to the public during a public health emergency.

“Staff and volunteers are well trained and practiced in POD operations. We have been planning with local partners for years to ensure our ability to quickly execute large-scale immunization campaigns,” said Elise Pignatora, Director of Public Health Planning and Emergency Preparedness.

NCDOH says at least once a year it conducts a full-scale POD to demonstrate and test capabilities in the following areas:

  • Communication
  • Asset distribution
  • Cold-chain management
  • Medical screening
  • Vaccination/dispensing
  • Patient record management
  • Patient education

“For the health and safety of staff, volunteers and participants, the open PODs will be drive-through operations at pre-identified locations within the Niagara County,” said Stapleton.

NCDOH says it is still unknown the type of vaccine the county will receive as well as how much and when, but it is planning for many scenarios and committed to making the vaccine available to residents as soon as possible.

For more information you can visit the NCDOH website here.