Third New Hampshire Mass Vaccination Event
Last weekend marked the third mass vaccination event held at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, NH. It was the first that I had the privilege of playing a small role in and I was extremely impressed with the organization from start to finish. I’d like to share some of my experience here.
Two days ahead of the event there was a webinar held for those who would be working at the site. The logistics of parking, checking in, reporting to specific areas and expectations regarding weather conditions and dress code were clearly explained. The webinars were recorded and made available for reference leading up to the vaccination days.
On Sunday morning I arrived at NH Motor Speedway and was checked in electronically. My credentials had been verified by my hospital ahead of time. A shuttle took a group of us from the first check in station to the infield, where we were given our ID badges and reflective vests denoting our roles for the day.
My red vest represented the medical provider group observing people after they had received their vaccines. We were directed to the infield of the speedway where we were given a briefing by the medical staff overseeing the operations.
We were grouped into pairs of two, with each group responsible for a lane of approximately 30 cars. People who had received their vaccines were directed by the traffic control staff into certain lanes where they would wait 15-30 minutes and be observed for any reactions to the vaccine, at which time the lane would empty and quickly refill with the next round of cars.
As a medical observer, my role was to speak with those in my lane and give them information about the vaccine they had received. Anyone who was concerned about a potential reaction would honk their horn and our team would come to assess them medically.
The medical team was extremely well organized and represented a diverse group of providers. On our Sunday shift, we had emergency medicine physicians, paramedics, EMTs and nurses from institutions across the state.
The most rewarding aspect of the entire event was the atmosphere of hope, collegiality and appreciation. It was not uncommon to see tears of joy, cars full of laughter and cheers as the observation period ended and newly vaccinated individuals drove away and back to their lives.
Thank you to all of those who have made these events into the successes that they have been. Keep up the great work!
Kenton Allen, MD
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