During an emergency, public health workers may be called upon to help dispense medicine or medical supplies. Find out what is involved in the process of mass dispensing of medications, vaccines, or other medical supplies. This one-hour online course outlines situations in which mass dispensing is necessary, and discusses the logistics of providing medications to large populations.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the role of medications, vaccines, and medical supplies in response to a public health emergency, such as an act of terrorism, a natural disaster, or an influenza pandemic
  • List and describe the pharmaceutical resources available for public health crises and describe how these resources could be used within local communities
  • Describe the purpose and general process flow of a mass dispensing clinic or a point of distribution (POD)
  • Explain the roles of public health staff and volunteers in a POD

Intended Audience

Public health workers and volunteer health care providers who wish to increase their knowledge of mass dispensing of pharmaceuticals.


This course should take approximately 60 minutes to complete.

Course Instructor

Andy Stergachis, PhD, RPh
Professor, Global Health
Professor, Pharmacy
Adjunct Professor, Epidemiology
Associate Dean, School of Pharmacy
Northwest Center for Public Health Practice
School of Public Health
University of Washington


This online training course is text-based and is designed for accessibility. If you have any difficulties in accessing the information or need further assistance, please contact

February 15, 2024
Emergency Preparedness & Disasters
Law and Policy & Ethics
Self-Paced Course
1 hour
Competency Domains: 
Analytical/Assessment Skills
Policy Development/Program Planning Skills