Public Health Emergency Response

% of the Burlington/South Burlington Metropolitan Statistical Area population serviced by closed PODs (medicine Points of Distribution)

40%Q2 2019

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Story Behind the Curve

The Vermont Department of Health’s first priority is to protect the health of Vermont residents In the event an epidemiologic investigation reveals a wide spread exposure that may threaten public health, mass medication or vaccination distribution may be needed to provide life-saving countermeasures to the public.

Mass prophylaxis plans have been developed as part of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC), Strategic National Stockpile program. In the event of a large exposure, the Vermont Department of Health (VDH) would carry out mass prophylaxis through the use of public Points of Distribution (PODs) - locations that have agreed to host VDH staff and Medical Reserve Corps volunteers as a distribution point for providing necessary medications to counteract the disease exposure.

The Vermont Department of Health is working to better prepare the state for public health emergencies, such as pandemics, through the use of closed PODs for first responders, vulnerable populations, critical infrastructure or large private entities. Closed PODs are defined as public and private organizations that have agreed to dispense medications, generally during a public health emergency, to the people that work or reside there and their family members. This partnership helps these entities get medication in a rapid manner while reducing the number of individuals who would have to go to the public PODs.

The establishment of Closed PODs in Vermont has not been an easy task. VDH has worked diligently to ensure the Closed POD model had appropriate liability coverage to protect all parties prior to building partnerships. While this process has delayed the formal establishment of Closed PODs, it has paved the road forward for success. The Closed POD model has been approved and outreach to potential partners will begin in September 2015.

Partners
  • First Responders
  • Critical Infrastructure
  • Vulnverable Populations
  • Private Businesses
What Works
Action Plan
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