Geospatial analytics to evaluate point-of-dispensing sites for mass immunizations in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania

Kibri H. Everett, Margaret A. Potter, William D. Wheaton, Sherrianne M. Gleason, Shawn T. Brown, Bruce Y. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


CONTEXT:: Public health agencies use mass immunization locations to quickly administer vaccines to protect a population against an epidemic. The selection of such locations is frequently determined by available staffing levels and in some places, not all potential sites can be opened, often because of a lack of resources. Public health agencies need assistance in determining which n sites are the prime ones to open given available staff to minimize travel time and travel distance for those in the population who need to get to a site to receive treatment. OBJECTIVE:: Employ geospatial analytical methods to identify the prime n locations from a predetermined set of potential locations (eg, schools) and determine which locations may not be able to achieve the throughput necessary to reach the herd immunity threshold based on varying R0 values. DESIGN:: Spatial location-allocation algorithms were used to select the ideal n mass vaccination locations. SETTING:: Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, served as the study area. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:: The most favorable sites were selected and the number of individuals required to be vaccinated to achieve the herd immunity threshold for a given R0, ranging from 1.5 to 7, was determined. Locations that did not meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention throughput recommendation for smallpox were identified. RESULTS:: At R0 = 1.5, all mass immunization locations met the required throughput to achieve the herd immunity threshold within 5 days. As R0s increased from 2 to 7, an increasing number of sites were inadequate to meet throughput requirements. CONCLUSIONS:: Identifying the top n sites and categorizing those with throughput challenges allows health departments to adjust staffing, shift length, or the number of sites. This method has the potential to be expanded to select immunization locations under a number of additional scenarios. Copyright

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S31-S36
JournalJournal of Public Health Management and Practice
Issue number5 SUPPL. 2
StatePublished - Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • location-allocation
  • mass vaccination
  • points of dispensing
  • synthetic populations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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