Public Health Professor Contributes to International Guide on COVID-19 Vaccine Rollouts
Assistant Professor of Public Health Dr. Gabriel Ibarra-Mejia was a part of an international team of ergonomics experts invited to contribute to a publication by the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (CIEHF), responding to the World Health Organization’s recommendations on global COVID-19 vaccine rollouts. The document, entitled “Vaccinating a nation: Ten human factors and ergonomics principles,” was released as vaccination rollout efforts began earlier this year.
The CIEHF document was drafted in response to concerns that the WHO vaccine rollouts didn’t consider key human factors (mental, physical and cognitive capabilities) for both healthcare workers responsible for administering the vaccinations and vaccine recipients, as well as infrastructural issues for the more than one-third of WHO nations which did not have an established vaccination program for adults prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Recommendations were made as broadly as possible so that each country could adapt to their own unique situation.
The publication includes 10 principles to support systems thinking and addresses the entire vaccination process, from the point at which individuals make appointments up to the actual day of vaccination, when vaccine clinic organizers attempt to get patients in and out of facilities as safely and quickly as possible. The principles are: 1) understand people’s needs and capabilities; 2) consider tools and equipment; 3) assess the physical environment; 4) describe the tasks people do; 5) evaluate potential vulnerabilities; 6) re-design physical spaces, tools and tasks to enhance performance and reduce risk; 7) develop usable work instructions; 8) design and deliver suitable training; 9) monitor work as done and adapt to achieve sustainable change; and 10) record and learn from incidents.
While the WHO did not consider a formal response to the document because the work was not done in conjunction with the agency, it did later release a statement saying that human factors need to be considered during rollouts.
The document has been translated into Spanish for dissemination to Latin American countries, and a version in French is pending. The CIEHF and participating expert panel members plan to share the document with colleagues in key governmental agencies, and with healthcare administrators and personnel.
The entire guide is accessible at: https://lnkd.in/grSUsdb