This week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sponsored the National Forum on COVID-19 Vaccine, a three-day virtual event for stakeholders supporting COVID-19 vaccination. On the second day there was a 90 minute town hall style session titled “Using Technology to Manage COVID-19 Vaccination” which brought together public health and industry leaders to discuss the use and challenges of information technology solutions in addressing the needs of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign in the US.
In January 2021 the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense released its latest report: The Apollo Program for Biodefense. Issued in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the report draws upon earlier findings of the Commission to call for a “moon shot”-style investment to prepare the US (and the world) for the ongoing reality of large-scale biological threats.
On January 21, 2021 the White House released the new administration’s National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness. While initially it seems to be a daunting 200 page document, it is divided into three manageable sections. First, the core of the recommendations are presented in just twenty pages. If that’s all you have time to read, focus there. The document then expounds on the seven goals and related action plans in the next ninety-five or so pages. Finally, the remainder of the document is a compilation of the new Executive Orders signed by the president that support the plan.
Now that COVID-19 doses administered data are flowing to Immunization Information Systems (IIS), we are noticing some unintended side effects from the data management component of the vaccination program. Here are a few that have bubbled up from the jurisdictions we support:
On December 23, 2020, HLN released a new version (v1.27.1) of the Immunization Calculation Engine (ICE) in support of both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID vaccines, as well as the COVD-19 unspecified vaccine code. ICE is a state-of-the-art open source software system that provides clinical decision support for immunizations for use in Immunization Information Systems (IIS), Electronic Health Record (EHR), and Personal Health Record (PHR) Systems.