Hosting a Clinic

The following information is provided as a resource for organizations and groups in Iowa interested in hosting COVID-19 vaccination programs for their members.

First, coordinate with your Local Public Health Department! Your local public health department’s immunization program can help coordinate vaccination clinics, provide speakers for presentations, and offer other types of expertise to make your vaccination event a success. The local public health department can advise your group on vaccine availability and specific requirements to follow for a successful event. 


Iowa law requires that vaccines are administered by certified medical professionals including physicians, nurses, pharmacists, paramedic-level EMS providers, and other helath-related professionals. You can recruit your own staffing, or work with a local physician's office, hospital, pharmacy, local public health department, or other enrolledvaccine provider to administer the vaccines. Vaccine providers should be included early on in the polanning process. Many have participated in clinics of varying sizes and will be able to provide planning support.


Site selection is an important consideration. Do a site visit to determine whether the site:

  • Is clean and well lit with adequate parking
  • Is acessible for those with mobility aids
  • Can support social distancing for individuals
  • Has ample space for waiting, registration, providing vaccinations, and space for observing individuals after vaccination
  • Is accessible by public transportation if necessary

Begin communicating with your community early on in the process. Providing accurate, credible information about the vaccine to your community helps to build trust in the vaccine and in the process. Providing regular updates with accurate, credible information helps combat misinformation and vaccine hesitancy. Leverage social media and other forms of media your community regularly uses to ensure your message reaches the widest audience.


Depending on the anticipated number of people receiving the vaccination, a registration and appointment process should be considered to help with flow control and ensure you don't have more people waiting in line than you have available vaccine doses.

Your registration process could be a high-tech web-based system or a low-tech call-in system where call takers enter details into a spreadsheet. Whichever system you choose, it iis helpful for reminder phone calls, text messages, or emails to be sent out to registrants at regular intervals leading up to the event date to ensure maximum participation. Consider partnering with your vaccine provider or 211 to assist in the registration process. You may also consider planning a walk-in clinic depending on your target audience.


Planners should understand the potential number of people who will seek vaccination through this effort. Knowing how many people to plan for will help guide other planning aspects. Remember that some people will have reservations about receiving the vaccine, so this should be considered.


Indentify a point person early on in planning a vaccination clinic for your community. This person should manage the overall planning process and ensure planning goals and objectives are met. This person may also serve as the spokesperson for the group, so choose someone who is respected and trusted in the community who will help add credibility to the effort.