What is a POD?

Points of Dispensing, or POD, can be set up to distribute medicine, vaccine and medical supplies. The stockpile is designed to protect the American public if there is a public health emergency (terrorist attack, pandemic, natural disaster) severe enough to cause local supplies to run out. 

When would a POD be open?

A POD would be created after a disaster event such as a pandemic or bioterrorism event, when vaccines would need to be distributed to a large number of people. 

Where are local POD locations?

Due to the large area needed to effectively carry out a POD, locations such as schools or large public gathering areas often make the best POD locations. A specific location will be shared in communications with the community at the time of the event.

How does a POD operate? 

There are four steps needed to navigate through a POD: 

  1. Fill out a form - You will list each person in your family/group. 
  2. POD staff will review the form - Upon completion they will direct you to the next appropriate station. 
  3. Turn in your form - You will receive appropriate medicine or vaccine. 
  4. Exit the POD - If given medication, begin taking after leaving the POD. 

Note: Vaccination monitoring may occur at the end of a POD, resulting in a 15-minute wait at the end of the POD. 

What Should I Bring to the POD? 

  • Even though it is not necessary, if you have a driver’s license, please bring it with you. A driver’s license may help speed the demographic collection process.
  • Adults may pick up medication (pills) for other members of their family. If a vaccine is being given, all family members will need to come to the POD.
  • For children, please bring weight, age, health information, drug allergies and a list of current medications.
  • For adults, please bring health information, drug allergies and list of current medications.
  • PODs may be crowded and you may have to stand in line, or wait in a vehicle, for an extended period of time. Please wear comfortable shoes and bring water, snacks or other comfort items you might need.
  • If you have difficulty standing in line or have additional special needs, people will be there to assist you. For help, please make contact with a staff member.

Mobile Distribution

Organizations may also sign up for mobile distribution, giving an organization the option to send one or few people to the POD, retrieving supplies, and then distributing those supplies at their organization site. Contact the SWC EP Regional Coordinator for more information.

Points of Dispensing