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What is a POD?

A POD or point of dispensing is simply a place where a large number of people can safely received medications, vaccinations, or supplies during and after an emergency. Park community centers, school gymnasiums, and large parking lots all can be used as POD sites.

What a POD is not...

A POD is not a treatment center - sick people should not go to PODs for treatment.
A POD is not a place were people can get their regular medications (for example, medicine for diabetes or high blood pressure) during an emergency.

When might the Health Department open PODs?

PODs may be opened anytime there is a need for the Health Department to provide medications, vaccinations, or supplies to a large number of the population. For example, in 2009, the Health Department used PODs to provide vaccinations to thousands of people to protect against H1N1.

How will I know where PODs are located?

When an emergency calls for the opening of PODs, the Health Department and partners will get information out about PODs in many ways, including:

  • Information on the Health Department's website and the City of Long Beach website
  • Television and radio announcements
  • The Health Department's Twitter and Facebook pages
  • Newspaper announcements
  • In coordination with local community agencies and local schools
  • Direct outreach
  • Parks and community centers

What can I expect at a POD?

1. Registration: When you arrive, you may be asked to complete a form with information about you and/or your family members. The Health Department will have staff and volunteers available to assist people with completing forms. There may be long lines at POD sites since many people will be there to receive services.

2. Forms Review: After you complete your form, you will stop at the Registration Station where a staff or volunteer will review your form(s) and answer any questions you may have.

3. Dispensing: Finally, you will stop at a Dispensing Station where you will receive the medication or vaccination being passed out.

Want to see how PODs work? Visit our YouTube page for videos about what to expect during a POD.