Beyond Influenza Vaccination: Expanding Infrastructure for Hospital-based Pediatric COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery

Annika M. Hofstetter, Suchitra Rao*, Ravi Jhaveri

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Controlling the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome–coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), will rely on vaccination at increasing rates and in an equitable manner. The main reasons for under-vaccination are varied among different segments of the population and include vaccine hesitancy and lack of access. While vaccine hesitancy is complicated and requires long-term solutions, access can be enhanced through evidence-based delivery strategies that augment conventional approaches. Hospital-based COVID-19 vaccination programs hold particular promise in reaching populations with decreased vaccine access and those at higher risk for adverse outcomes from SARS-CoV-2 infection. Hospitals have the necessary equipment and storage capabilities to maintain cold chain requirements—a common challenge in the primary care setting—and can serve as a central distribution point for delivering vaccines to patients in diverse hospital locations, including inpatient units, emergency departments, urgent care centers, perioperative areas, and subspecialty clinics. They also have the capacity for mass-vaccination programs and other targeted outreach efforts. Hospital-based programs that have been successful in implementing influenza and other routine vaccinations can leverage existing infrastructure, such as electronic health record–related tools. With the possibility of COVID-19 becoming endemic, much like seasonal influenza, these programs will require flexibility as well as planning for long-term sustainability. This commentary highlights existing vaccine delivery to children in hospital-based settings, including key advantages and important challenges, and outlines how these systems could be expanded to include the COVID-19 vaccine delivery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)450-455
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Therapeutics
Volume44
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2022

Keywords

  • COVID-19 vaccination
  • hospital-based vaccination programs
  • influenza vaccination
  • inpatient vaccination
  • vaccine delivery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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