Medications for the Public During Public Health Emergencies

Nurse at Mass clinic

Distribution of Drugs and Vaccine In Response to Public Health Disasters

In 1999, Congress tasked the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with development of a national drug stockpile to support local response to large disasters. In turn, the CDC Division of Strategic National Stockpile (DSNS) was established.  Upon the CDC Director’s decision to do so, medical assets can be deployed to any location within the continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii, or any U.S. territories. 

The Chicago Department of Public Health is the local agency responsible for distributing protective medication from the federal government’s national stockpile to Chicago residents in the event of a large-scale emergency or disaster. CDPH also maintains a local drug stockpile, providing an immediate resource for protective medication to Chicago citizens during a public health disaster.

If your community is affected by a medical emergency, CDPH is prepared to set up a nearby Dispensing / Vaccination Center (DVC) to provide protective vaccine or drugs, as needed.  During such a disaster, news reports will provide instructions on who should go to DVCs, what information to bring, and where DVCs are located.

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