Rural health care experts describe the challenges of distributing the COVID-19 vaccine to rural residents and some strategies to optimize the process. Key challenges include the temperature requirements for storing and shipping vaccines, which many rural hospitals are unable meet. Vaccines are also often sent in large batches—975 doses in the case of the Pfizer vaccine—which are difficult for small institutions to manage and distribute quickly. The Moderna vaccine offers a more suitable minimum order of 100 doses. Authors suggest several ways to support rural hospitals, including providing smaller batch options, making sure rural counties have specific communication plans to provide information to residents, involving rural nonprofit health organizations in information dissemination, and allowing community pharmacies to also offer the vaccine (particularly important given rural hospital closures). #covid-19 #rural
Strategies for optimizing COVID-19 vaccine roll-out in rural places
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