FirstNet Assists Vaccination Distribution Across the U.S.
Thursday, March 18, 2021 | Comments

As the U.S. accelerates vaccinations in anticipation of meeting the President Joe Biden’s goal of being ready to open up availability to all adults by May 1, a cross-industry response has been deployed to meet the logistical needs, safety concerns and scale of the mammoth operation.

FirstNet, built with AT&T is giving public-safety agencies a common, interoperable platform to easily communicate across agencies, jurisdictions and state lines. During the vaccination rollout, FirstNet’s inherent interoperable communications is critical. Through innovative solutions, public-safety agencies, local and state governments, and healthcare organizations using FirstNet are helping to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine efficiently and effectively.

From coast to coast, FirstNet is helping those charged with coordination of the vaccine distribution across America to stop the spread of COVID-19.

In California, Palomar Health set up a resource clinic in Escondido equipped with FirstNet-enabled tablets and smartphones where commercial coverage presented a connectivity issue. The site offers drive-thru testing, vaccination and monoclonal therapy, an antibody therapy that could keep symptomatic patients away from the hospital.

Up north, the Seattle Fire Department's mobile vaccination teams are using FirstNet mobile devices to help coordinate their efforts across the city and maximize efficiency in supplying vaccinations to those living in adult family homes, permanent supportive and affordable housing, as well as pop-up clinics throughout the city.

FirstNet is being used as primary and backup connectivity for drive-thru vaccinations for the Galveston County Health District in Texas in partnership with the Galveston County Office of Emergency Management and the League City Office of Emergency Management.

Clinicians use mobile devices to log in to the patient portal and manage the entire process from registration to release after vaccine. FirstNet is also being used to monitor the drive-thru vaccination location via cameras powered by the network. This allows law enforcement to monitor vehicle traffic as the vehicles move through the location from registration to release. Lastly, FirstNet is being used within the League City Fire Marshal’s Office command trailer to assist in connecting devices for general use and video conferencing.

In rural Illinois, Perry County Health Department is using FirstNet-connected tablets and hotspots to operate remote COVID-19 clinics. Additionally, home health nurses in Perry County are using FirstNet connected tablets to manage scheduling and electronic paperwork.

Spectrum Health is using FirstNet on smartphones at the West Michigan Vaccine Clinic in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The healthcare provider also used portable data network (PDN) kits at COVID-19 testing sites. A PDN is an all-inclusive mobile suitcase equipped with a modem and FirstNet connectivity that provides highly secure internet access wherever it goes.

Howard County Fire and Rescue Services in Maryland is using FirstNet on tablets and smartphones with its mobile integrated community health team delivering COVID-19 vaccinations to individuals who are developmentally disabled or who live in group or congregate living facilities. The vaccine distribution team is comprised of personnel from Howard County Fire and affiliated agencies.

In New Jersey, Capital Health is using FirstNet on tablets and smartphones to check in patients at its Trenton and Hopewell inoculation sites, while Inspira Health Network is using FirstNet for stand-alone hotspots and smartphones with hotspot capability at its vaccination site.

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