Operation One Shot has trial run

Janie Hilfiger, president, UPMC Wellsboro and UPMC Cole, receives her flu shot during Operation One Shot held last week at the hospital.

More than 540 UPMC Wellsboro employees recently took part in Operation One Shot, a mass flu vaccination readiness effort that will serve as a preparedness drill for a potential mass vaccination program for COVID-19. It is organized by a multidisciplinary group of experts across UPMC including emergency preparedness, infection prevention, supply chain, employee health, pharmacy, and others, working together to test UPMC’s coordination around a mass vaccination effort.

“A lot of work and collaboration helped make this a success. We were able to handle the volume with no waiting,” said Andy Tom, manager, emergency preparedness and pre-hospital services, UPMC Wellsboro. “We were able to effectively test our mass vaccination plan and I believe this is something we will do annually now for our flu vaccines. With more than 95% of our employees vaccinated in two days, it is truly the way to go.”

UPMC began planning Operation One Shot at multiple facilities across the health system last flu season, before the COVID-19 pandemic, as part of the its emergency preparedness work. In the event of a mass vaccination event, UPMC Wellsboro would act as a Closed Point of Distribution. Employees and their families would receive their vaccination from the hospital while the public would receive theirs from clinics that clinics that the county or federal authorities would organize. The purpose of a CPOD is to treat healthcare workers and their families in a timely manner to keep the hospitals operational during an outbreak or other similar scenario.