Upfront program management
The cultural, political, and legal considerations to plan for upfront. They are critical yet feasible to address.
At first glance, vaccine appointment finders may look like a primarily technical project. However, working across the large number of vaccine providers in any jurisdiction involves significant cultural, political, legal, equity, and relationship-building efforts – all can far outweigh the technology work. When contemplating the creation of a VAF, states need to account for the following:
Note: The amount of upfront project planning required depends upon the VAF solution you decided to implement. (See Appointment building blocks for full details). For example, you could use only scraping and might need minimal or no external agreements.
    Cultural considerations: Having a dedicated team of champions at the leadership level is absolutely critical. This team needs to move quickly to obtain needed permissions and drive this innovation through various state agencies and stakeholders, and USDR can embed directly with your team.
    Political considerations: Consider how you will handle permissions from various groups within and without the agency to deploy a VAF.
    Legal considerations: A VAF implementation can have any number of legal agreements that need to be entered into.
    Equity considerations: A VAF can be designed to accommodate both types of points of dispensing (closed PODs and open PODs).
    Risk management: A VAF is relatively low risk, because the tool is accessing vaccine provider schedulers with read-only privileges.
    Building the right relationships: Public health officers already have contact lists for hospitals, clinics, and mass vaccination sites. USDR has contacts at national pharmacy chains and can assist with building these relationships.
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