BLU-MED Medical Facilities Help Streamline COVID Vaccination for the Grand Junction VA Hospital
News of inefficient COVID vaccine distribution has been reported consistently since approved vaccines arrived at vaccination sites across the country. But this hasn’t been the case for the Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital in Grand Junction, Colorado.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency use authorization for the Moderna vaccine — the second vaccine to be developed for prevention of COVID-19 — on December 18, 2020. Upon receiving the vaccines, the Grand Junction VA Hospital began administering them to their employees almost immediately according to a Facebook post by the Montrose Mirror.
A week later, the VA Hospital was already scheduling appointments for high-risk veterans (cancer patients, paraplegics, and those in their 90s) to receive the vaccine. While other community vaccination sites appear to be behind schedule for vaccine distribution, the Grand Junction VA Hospital is vaccinating about 80 patients a day.
The reason for the VA Hospital’s success?
The efficient vaccine distribution is likely partly due to the VA’s experience with mass inoculations. For example, the hospital has established an efficient scheduling system by which they contact veterans directly who are currently eligible for a vaccine based on CDC and VA risk criteria. This appointment-based vaccination prevents the chaos of having people call in or show up at the hospital to request a vaccine.
Another reason for the Grand Junction VA Hospital’s success lies in its vaccination facilities themselves.
Rather than have veterans come into the hospital to be vaccinated, which could put them, staff, and other patients at risk as well as overtax the facility, they have set up deployable medical facilities from BLU-MED Response Systems® outside of the hospital entrance for this purpose.
These medical facilities ensure that no one is put at risk unnecessarily and that patients have a safe, socially distant space in which to wait to ensure they don’t have an allergic reaction after receiving the vaccine. Because the facilities are heated, they’re able to provide a comfortable environment even in the middle of winter.
With the help of their efficient setup, the Grand Junction VA Hospital hopes to be able to increase their capacity to 100 vaccinations a day to get through their remaining patients and the required second doses.
Photo credit: The Montrose Mirror’s Facebook