What other cities can learn from Charlotte’s mass vaccination events

What other cities can learn from Charlotte’s mass vaccination events

Kevin McCarthy/Atrium Health

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A group of Charlotte businesses hope to be a model for mass vaccination events nationwide through a playbook they delivered to governors of all 50 states on Wednesday.

Why it matters: Large-scale vaccinations like the kind the business community in Charlotte has held could be replicated nationwide, local leaders say. They see the resources of the private sector as a crucial piece in accelerating vaccinations.

  • Plus, private sector leaders believe the federal and local governments need the help of businesses if they want to improve the slow national vaccine rollout.

The memo to governors comes weeks after the partnership between Honeywell, Atrium Health, Tepper Sports & Entertainment and Charlotte Motor Speedway hosted back-to-back mass vaccinations at Charlotte Motor Speedway and at Bank of America Stadium.

  • The two events together administered more than 36,000 vaccinations over five days.
  • The goal is to administer 1 million vaccines by July 1.

The Charlotte group’s playbook is a how-to guide in vaccinating thousands of people at a time. Some recommendations include:

  • Identify venues with sufficient space to allow for social distancing, either by foot or by car.
  • Have patients schedule appointments through the health-care system’s web portal.
  • Use pre-screening technology to assess patients for risk level.
  • Develop bar codes technology to check in patients and convert data to upload to the state database. In Charlotte, Honeywell developed this technology, and it saved 5-10 minutes of processing time per patient.

What they’re saying: “None of the partners alone would have been able to do it at that scale. Everybody brings a certain skill set to the table,” Honeywell’s global supply chain officer Torsten Pilz tells Axios Charlotte.

  • “We believe we have developed a strong model for future mass vaccination events that are safe and efficient,” David Tepper, owner of the Carolina Panthers and Tepper Sports, said in a statement.

    The business group considers its mass vaccine clinics pilots, with more like them to come, and potentially at larger scale. “If we had more vaccines, we would have done more,” Pilz said.

    Yes, but: There isn’t a coordinated effort at the national level to leverage the resources of the private sector on mass vaccinations, as Axios’s Courtenay Brown writes. Plus, there are limits to how involved the private sector can be, given sensitive patient data and states’ varying vaccine eligibility rules.

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