Emergency Mass Prophylaxis Plan
The Emergency Mass Prophylaxis Plan is the citywide plan for large-scale antibiotic or vaccine dispensing in the rare event of an infectious disease emergency. The San Francisco Department of Public Health is responsible for creating and maintaining this plan. Emergencies of this magnitude would include bioterrorism attacks through things like anthrax or smallpox and naturally occurring disease epidemics like pandemic influenza or meningococcal disease.
Through the Infectious Disease Emergency Response (IDER) Plan, our emergency preparedness efforts include the coordination of potential Point of Dispensing (POD) sites for giving antibiotic or vaccinations for the overall population, the recruitment and training of staff for clinics, the collaboration with community groups and other city agencies, and the creation of appropriate medical screening tools and models.
Point of Dispensing (POD) Sites
During a Health Emergency, PODs, or Points of Dispensing, are places where large populations can receive medications or shots very quickly. PODs will be open to the public and all antibiotics and vaccines that are offered in response to the emergency will be free. PODs will be located throughout San Francisco to provide accessibility for every community. In an emergency, media outlets and government agencies will release POD locations and hours of operations.
San Francisco has been working with surrounding Bay Area counties to ensure that our dispensing practices are consistent with those around us. BayAreaDisasterMeds.org serves as a place where people can get information about training in a pre-event situation, information about PODs and about getting medication during an emergency.
Partners in Planning for Infectious Disease Emergencies
Planning for rare bioterrorism events involves communicating and coordinating with many partners. Many organizations (large corporations, all hospitals, long-term care facilities, universities and others) have volunteered to dispense antibiotics to their own employees. These organizations are called “Push Partners,” because they have offered to help us “push” medications to the community. They are also called Closed PODs, because they are “closed” to the general public.
If your organization is interested in helping to dispense antibiotics in an emergency, there is a Dispensing Partner Registration Form to complete at BayAreaDisasterMeds.org. If your organization is interested in learning more how to be a dispensing partner, consult the informational materials available at the San Francisco Department of Public Health produced ClosedPODPartners.org.
Other partners in planning include other Bay Area Counties, other agencies in San Francisco, state and federal agencies, and public safety organizations.
- BayAreaDisasterMeds.org – Bay Area Mass Prophylaxis Working Group’s (BAMPWG) website provides information on:
- How to get trained for infectious disease information
- How to register as a Push Partner
- Information about the antibiotics that would be dispensed at a POD
- An online drug screening form, that one can fill out in preparation for a disaster
- ClosedPODPartners.org – The National Association of County and City Health Officials’ (NACCHO) training series on:
- Becoming a push partner, and
- Operating a Closed POD