Mass Immunization Prophylaxis Strategy

The Oklahoma State Department of Health is responsible for development, implementation and management of the Strategic National Stockpile program in Oklahoma.

One component of the SNS program involves a statewide medication plan. Many Oklahomans have come to know this plan as the Mass Immunization/Prophylaxis Strategy, or MIPS. MIPS sites can be activated in specific areas or statewide during large-scale outbreaks, whether naturally occurring (such as the flu) or subsequent to a deliberate terrorist attack.

There are 37 cities in Oklahoma that have been selected to operate a MIPS site. Each of these cities has selected locations to dispense medications to Oklahomans. These locations are also known as Points of Dispensing, or PODs. Currently there are over 100 PODs in the state.

County health departments are responsible for developing and maintaining plans to activate the PODs; however, the health departments must work with community volunteers to successfully accomplish this vital mission. Setting up and running a POD requires both medical and non-medical personnel, as well as traditional first responders (law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services). Depending on the situation, it may take well over 100 personnel for each shift. In some instances, a POD may be required to stay open 24 hours a day for several days.

As a result, it is crucial for county health departments to identify volunteers to assist with their local MIPS. The mass medication system needs licensed medical professionals to dispense medications, counsel patients on drug interactions and provide emotional support to traumatized patients. Additional volunteers are needed to assist with non-medical aspects of POD operations.

If you would like to volunteer, sign-up with the Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps. If you are only interested in volunteering for the MIPS program, you may select that option of the page of the MRC application where you designate the MIPS region in which you would like to serve.

The MRC is a vital partner that is relied upon to provide trained and credentialed volunteers. Also, by volunteering to be part of the MIPS plan, you and your immediate family members will be provided medication. This not only helps ensure you are safe, while providing services, but it also ensures you are more at ease knowing your family is safe, while you are helping others.