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Center for Public Health Preparedness

Mass Dispensing: A Primer for Community Leaders

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This course provides an overview of mass dispensing, which is a method health departments might use to give medication or vaccinations to a large number of people in a short period of time. The course describes what mass dispensing involves and how this fits into the national and state response to public health emergencies. It also outlines the leadership roles for community leaders during mass dispensing.


This course is intended for community leaders, including elected officials, who might play a role in mass dispensing for their community.


Estimated time for this course is 1 to 1½ hours


Originally launched July 2007.

Technical Requirements

This course is built to XHTML 1.1 specifications. A modern web browser such as Microsoft Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox is required to view the pages.


Upon completing the module, you will be able to:

  • Define mass dispensing and its purpose
  • Identify the purpose of the Incident Command System
  • Discuss the operating procedures of the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS)
  • Describe some of the factors that have an impact on point of dispensing (POD) site selection
  • Describe some of the POD's procedural activities
  • Identify actions that can contribute to preparedness
  • Describe different types of training


Free and open to the public.


This course is based on training developed by Dr. Richard Melchreit and the Connecticut Department of Public Health.


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