A mass vaccination center is a location, normally used for nonhealthcare activities, set up for high-volume and high-speed vaccinations during infectious disease emergencies. The high contagiousness and mortality of COVID-19 and the complete lack of population immunity posed an extraordinary threat for global health. The aim of our research was to collect and review previous experiences on mass vaccination centers. On 4 April 2021, we developed a rapid review searching four electronic databases: PubMed/Medline, Scopus, EMBASE, Google Scholar and medRxiv. From a total of 2312 papers, 15 of them were included in the current review. Among them, only one article described a COVID-19 vaccination center, all of the others referred to other vaccinations, in particular influenza. The majority were conducted in the United States, and were simulations or single-day experiences to practice a mass vaccination after bioterrorist attacks. Indeed, all of them were published after September 11 attacks. Regarding staff, timing and performance, the data were highly heterogenous. Several studies used as a model the Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. Results highlighted the differences around the definition, layout and management of a mass vaccination center, but some aspects can be considered as a core aspect. In light of this, we suggested a potential definition. The current review answers to the urgency of organizing a mass vaccination center during the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting the most important organizational aspects that should be considered in the planning.
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