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Free Planning Software Developed for Vaccination Clinics

A mass vaccination drill in Silver Spring, Md.

A mass vaccination drill in Silver Spring, Md.

Prof. Jeffrey Herrmann, mechanical engineering and Institute for Systems Research, has developed free software to help emergency responders run effective vaccination clinics.

The software, based in Microsoft Excel, was developed after extensive time studies at exercises for mass smallpox vaccination and for mass dispensing of antibiotics in case of anthrax. Additional data is being collected this year at real flu vaccination clinics.

The clinic planning model can be used now to create emergency preparedness plans and during the early stages of an event.

"Should mass dispensing or mass vaccination be needed, the software can help public health officials adjust their plans to respond to the scenario that is happening," Herrmann said. "They can quickly make important decisions that will affect how fast their citizens receive treatment."

By easing congestion in these facilities, widespread panic is much less likely to develop in the face of a possible pandemic like the bird flu.

Planners in Montgomery County, Md., recently used the model while creating their plans to respond to a pandemic flu. "In a couple of hours, they considered many different alternatives before selecting the clinic design that was best for their situation," said Herrmann.

The software and sample reports are available on the Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) Lab Mass Vaccination Project web site.

Listen to a radio news story (MP3, 650Kb)about this project:

Beating the Flu Queue—From the WTOP Radio Series on Engineering.

Read the accompanying article on the NAE website.

October 31, 2005

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