Planning is responsible for a variety of plans, policies, and procedures that protect the overall health of the community.
Point of Dispensing (POD) Site
A POD Site is a mass medication dispensing location that is capable of providing pills, tablets, capsules, or vaccinations to protect the general population from biological threats or epidemics.
A Point Of Dispensing (POD) site is a mass medication dispensing location that is capable of providing pills, tablets, capsules, or vaccinations (prophylaxis) to protect the general population from biological threats or epidemics. A POD is not a:
Shelter; it does not have the capacity to house and feed patients
Trauma center, emergency room, or urgent care center; it is not able to provide medical treatment to patients
The goals of a POD are to:
- Decrease the number of individuals who may get ill
- Provide information about the disease and the treatment / prophylaxis (antibiotic or vaccine) being offered
- Provide medication to an exposed population within a given time period (the population and time are often event-specific)
- Request, receive, and distribute federal Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) provided materials in a timely manner
Public & Private PODs
Both public and private PODs play a vital role in the mass distribution of medication. Learn more about the difference between public and private PODs.
Protecting the health of residents is the first priority in any situation. If an epidemiological investigation reveals an exposure has occurred that may threaten the public's health, mass prophylaxis or vaccination may be an effective disease control measure. The Health Department, in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will decide what treatment is appropriate. The Health Department, in conjunction with state and federal partners, will decide what treatment is appropriate.
Both Public and Private Point of Dispensing (POD) sites play a vital role in the mass distribution of medication. A Public POD is set up for the general population in strategic locations throughout the community. Public PODs are operated by public health experts and volunteers. A Public POD involves the following activities:
- Setting up and executing a mass medication dispensing operation to serve potentially exposed populations before they become symptomatic
- Locating and coordinating the personnel to staff the dispensing operation
- Providing the public with information about community efforts to protect them from the threat
- Isolating symptomatic individuals and arranging to transport them to acute care facilities, if needed
A Private POD is designated for specific groups that are pre-trained to dispense medications to their member populations. For instance, a Private POD may be used to protect first-responders in a emergency situation.