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The 2009 H1N1 Influenza Vaccination Campaign: Summary of a Workshop Series
focus on vaccinating pregnant women first, they might initially distribute more vaccine to OB/GYNs so they could administer vaccine to their patients, and allocate less vaccine to pediatricians. These issues are discussed in greater detail in that section.
The topic of this section is also closely related to the subsequent section of vaccine administration methods and partners. Unprecedented efforts were made during the vaccination campaign to strengthen existing vaccine distribution partnerships and to integrate new partners into the distribution and administration system, particularly for vaccination of pregnant women, other high-risk adults, and children. These partners included healthcare providers, health systems, pharmacies, community organizations, health insurers, and large companies with occupational health clinics, among others. More detailed discussion of the roles of partners, along with the issues they faced during the campaign and potential opportunities to enhance their participation in the future, are discussed in the later section below on vaccine administration methods and partners.
Vaccines for Children Program
The prototype of the national vaccine distribution strategy was the federal VFC program, through which healthcare providers routinely work with their state and local health departments to provide recommended pediatric vaccines to eligible children. McKesson Corporation, the distributor for the VFC program, provided centralized distribution of vaccine directly to the public and private provider sites, as specified in orders from each state.
Many workshop participants noted that the infrastructure of the VFC program served as a foundation for their state vaccination distribution programs. Many components of the VFC program were found to be helpful during the 2009 H1N1 campaign. Some states used or adapted their VFC healthcare provider registration system for provider registration to receive 2009 H1N1 vaccine. Several participants noted that healthcare providers and clinics that participated in the VFC program found it easier to participate in the 2009 H1N1 vaccination campaign because they were already generally familiar with the system. Tiffany Sutter, information and education section chief of the Immunization Branch of the California Department of Public Health, mentioned that it used the VFC customer