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"Flying a plane and building it at the same time": Lessons learned from the dynamic implementation of mass vaccination clinics in the Region of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Global Health. School of Pharmacy, University of Waterloo, ON, Kitchener, Canada; School of Public Health Sciences, University of Waterloo, ON, Waterloo, Canada.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6833-7601
Systems Design Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Waterloo, ON, Waterloo, Canada.
School of Public Health Sciences, University of Waterloo, ON, Waterloo, Canada.
School of Public Health Sciences, University of Waterloo, ON, Waterloo, Canada.
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2023 (English)In: Health Research Policy and Systems, ISSN 1478-4505, E-ISSN 1478-4505, Vol. 21, no 1, article id 102Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: Vaccination plays a critical role during pandemics, and mass vaccination clinics are often an imperative public health measure. These clinics usually consist of multi-disciplinary teams, which can pose significant coordination challenges, yet also present an opportunity for collectively contributing towards mitigating the impact of infection within communities. This study explores the coordination dynamics of the Region of Waterloo's coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) mass vaccination clinics in Ontario, Canada, between July 2021 and April 2022.

METHODS: This qualitative study included 16 purposively selected participants working in mass vaccination clinics. Participants were individually interviewed for 40-60 min. An inductive and iterative thematic analysis was undertaken, including open coding, grouping, labelling, regrouping and making sense of the themes.

RESULTS: Three interrelated themes were created: (1) unpredictable work environment, which was comprised of changing clinic processes and the impact of clinic adjustments to the running of the clinics; (2) clinic cohesion challenges, which included staff role disparities, limited job preparation and clinic system silos; and (3) adaptable and supportive work environment, which was comprised of staff adaptability, dispositional flexibility and a supportive work environment. While the first two themes created a precarious situation in the clinics, the third countered it, leading to a largely successful clinic implementation.

CONCLUSIONS: The rapid evolution and high transmissibility of COVID-19 in communities required a public health response that felt like flying and building a plane simultaneously - a seemingly impossible yet necessary task. However, an adaptable and supportive work environment was critical for establishing an atmosphere that can overcome challenges from a constantly changing pandemic and the guidance of public health officials. Such lessons gained from understanding the dynamic experiences in mass vaccination clinics are essential for improving the development and operation of future immunization campaigns.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BioMed Central (BMC), 2023. Vol. 21, no 1, article id 102
Keywords [en]
Adaptable, COVID-19 pandemic, Dynamic implementation, Mass vaccination clinics, Multi-disciplinary teams, Rapid evolution, Unpredictable
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-215276DOI: 10.1186/s12961-023-01036-zPubMedID: 37784061Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85173063301OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-215276DiVA, id: diva2:1805547
Available from: 2023-10-17 Created: 2023-10-17 Last updated: 2023-10-17Bibliographically approved

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Tetui, Moses

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