A large quantity of the vaccine South Carolina initially received consisted of live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV). LAIV is only licensed for use among non-pregnant, healthy persons 2 to 49 years of age. A significant portion of the target population for H1N1 vaccination, such as pregnant women and people with underlying health conditions, require injectable vaccine. In an effort to be as efficient as possible, public health officials needed to conserve limited supplies of injectable vaccine for the medically fragile, while marketing available doses of LAIV to those eligible to receive it.
To increase LAIV awareness and uptake, South Carolina's Greenville County Health Department staff piloted a "Mist Express" lane at one of their regularly scheduled vaccination clinics. Those eligible for and interested in receiving the mist vaccine were routed to the express station, which was set up just outside the health department. This station helped to reduce noise and traffic inside the building and also created a calmer environment for children. Overall, the "Mist Express" lane resulted in a decreased wait time for all clients.
The county also developed a poster highlighting the benefit of the mist express lane to further promote the option. In addition, announcements of the express lane were made every 20-30 minutes, to continuously inform clinic attendees of this convenient service.
During the pilot event, LAIV administered by "Mist Express" staff accounted for 26% (435 of 1,661 vaccinations) of the total vaccine distributed during the clinic. Since then, "Mist Express" has become standard practice at all Region 2 clinics.