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6 tips on changing your plans / processes to accommodate it

Community sites are likely to be asked to administer the Pfizer (or Moderna) vaccine instead of the AstraZeneca. This will certainly need to be the case as and when the younger cohorts are due their vaccine.

Some top tips about what you will need to change.

  1. Sort the space!  Well I guess you might not all have the option of space for patients to wait and be observed for the 15 mins, even if you do, it is likely to have an impact on the amount of patients you can see in a day. Measure and space out chairs for patients for observation to see how many at any on time can be seated. Once we knew how many socially distanced patients we could seat, we worked backwards to ascertain how many stations we can run. We worked out that each station would need to have at least 3 chairs for those vaccinated in the previous 15 mins (approx. rate of a patient per 5 mins). In the space we have this means we will have to reduce from 600 patients per day to around 350. This all still needs to work in a one-way system. (good luck!) If patients will wait in a separate room, ensure someone is in there with them to ‘observe’ them.
  • Think about your reduced income: You are likely to need to pay the same venue costs for fewer patients coming through. We will save a little from having fewer vaccinators onsite, but we may consider working longer hours to keep our number of patients as high as possible.
  • Train staff ready for the change It is important that everyone is trained in their new role
  1. Volunteers – in the new process for people to wait and be observed
    1. HCP assessors – in the National Protocol for Pfizer or Moderna & reconstitution skills
    1. Vaccinators – in the new National Protocols
  • Create a process for using mixed vaccines (for different patients)

You are likely to still receive AstraZeneca for the second doses of those patients you have already vaccinated once. Decide on storage / logging / booking out / paperwork / safeguarding

  • Decide on who will carry out the aseptic dilution / drawing up

When we supported the vaccination programme for Milton Keynes Hospital, using Pfizer, we had a separate bench just for this purpose with two people cross checking the reconstitution and draw of the vaccine. Then once a patient had been assessed for vaccination, their vaccinator would go to that bench to collect a dose pre-filled by the HCP on that stand.

  • This does mean that the HCP drawing will need to re-sheath the needle to safely hand it over to the vaccinator
  • We used the blue trays to transport for the needle / syringe to the patient for stability of the vaccine
  • Rehearse! We have all been spoilt a little with the simplicity of using AstraZenca, we can’t afford for things to go wrong so I would spend the first hour of the ‘new’ clinic rehearsing so everyone is clear.

 Good luck guys, and remember our clinical team here at ECG are ready to help you

Written by, Jane Lambert (CEO of ECG Training), Thursday 6th June 2021

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