Routine vaccinations during COVID-19 pandemic
Continue Vaccinating Patients during the COVID-19 Pandemic
The Louisiana Immunization Program strongly recommends that providers continue vaccinating patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially children ages 0-24 months and high-risk children and adults. We also encourage women in their third trimester be prioritized for vaccinations. Interruptions in access to vaccinations could lead to additional disease outbreaks in Louisiana.
Health care providers reduce risks to all patients when providing vaccinations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Below are some key considerations for clinic operations:
- Scheduling well visits in the morning and sick visits in the afternoon.
- Separating patients spatially. Placing patients with sick visits in different areas of the clinic or another location from patients with well visits.
- Collaborating with providers in the community to identify separate locations for holding well visits for children.
- Prioritize conducting well child vaccinations for children ages 0-24 months. If needed, reschedule well visits for older children later.
- Generally lower the number of patients on site at any one time. Possibly close a waiting room or registration area and have patients check in by phone from the parking lot.
- Establish different entrances in your clinic where sick and well patients may enter. Clearly mark entrances for patients considered to be at higher risk for COVID-19.
- Tell patients who are ill to use telemedicine or a phone call. Some chronic conditions may be safely managed by clinic staff remotely.
- Tell patients to drive to the clinic and wait in their car while staff goes outside to check on them initially.
- Give vaccinations to patients seated in their car. Maintain proper hygiene and waste disposal practices outdoors just as you would indoors. Remember to follow all Storage and Handling safe practices.
- Screen all patients and caregivers for high-risk symptoms.
- Refer high-risk adults to pharmacies who can give vaccines at less busy times to keep them safer.
Helpful Resources for Providers:
Back-to-the Office Campign Toolkit (published by LA AAP May 8, 2020)
Safe Administration of Vaccines during the Pandemic (one-page resource released June 15, 2020)
Louisiana Immunization Program Guidance on Routine vaccinations During Pandemic (June 8, 2020 Memo)
Louisiana Immunization Program Guidance on Routine vaccinations During Pandemic (March 24, 2020 Memo)
Guidance for administering vaccines (CDC webpage)
CDC Coronavirus (COVID-19) (CDC webpage)
Louisiana Coronavirus (COVID-19) (Louisiana Department of Health webpage)
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate contacting your Immunization Program Consultant or the Immunization Program at 504-568-2600.
To access the official memo released on 3/24/2020 by the Louisiana Immunization Program, click here.