Feb. 19, 2021 — Drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination websites, if arrange nationwide on an enormous scale, might considerably pace up the variety of Individuals vaccinated, in line with new analysis that gives an in depth mannequin for methods to do it.

Primarily based on the recommended mannequin, 350 million doses may very well be given in 100 days, says research co-author Sunderesh Heragu, PhD, a professor of commercial engineering and administration at Oklahoma State College. That is sufficient to cowl the U.S. grownup inhabitants, after which some.

Heragu initially developed the mannequin for the swine flu (H1N1) pandemic in 2009, and it was used to vaccinate greater than 19,000 individuals in 1½ days at a mass vaccination website in Louisville, KY. Whereas drive-thru vaccinations should not new, even within the present pandemic, Heragu’s mannequin comes with particular pointers to maximise effectivity.President Joe Biden has set a purpose of giving 100 million COVID vaccine photographs by April 30, his 100th day in workplace. As of Thursday, 57.5 million of the photographs had been given, according to the CDC.

The proposed new mannequin, say its builders, might greater than triple that quantity in 100 days.

The whole U.S. inhabitants is 332 million, together with 77 million youngsters, who aren’t but eligible to get the vaccine. If solely the grownup inhabitants of 255 million is taken into account, 57.5 million of whom have already been vaccinated, Heragu says, quite a few second doses is also given throughout that 100 days on the drive-up mass vaccination websites if the brand new mannequin is used.

How the Mannequin Works

The mannequin assumes that 350 mass vaccination websites could be arrange throughout the nation and that vaccinations could be given 7 days every week for 8 hours a day. Every location would dispense 10,000 photographs a day, for a complete of 1 million vaccinations per website over 100 days, or 350 million photographs whole, Heragu says.

At mass vaccination websites in operation now, he says, the variety of photographs is far decrease than his 10,000 purpose. “Sometimes it’s 1,000 to 2,000 a day,” Heragu says.

To achieve the ten,000 purpose, every website ought to embody:

  • 5 tents, with every tent serving two automobiles directly
  • 4 nurses’ stations in every tent, with two nurses per station, for a complete of 40 nurses per website (or extra, in the event that they scale back shifts to lower than 8 hours)

The mannequin plugs in a number of different eventualities, similar to estimating automobiles would journey via the location at 7.5 miles per hour, and drivers would have a wait time of about 25 minutes. The simulated mannequin, based mostly on the Louisville vaccinations, contains time for a consent kind to be signed. If a consent kind is accomplished on-line earlier than the vaccination appointment, that would shave off 2 or 3 minutes, Heragu says, and enhance the whole variety of vaccinations.

It Labored in Louisville

On the Louisville website that used the mannequin in 2009, 19,000 photographs got in simply 1½ days, Heragu says. That vaccination program included choices for drive-thru and for walk-up. “That they had 19,000 doses, and greater than 12,000 have been accomplished via the drive-thru, and about one-third via the walk-up,” he says.

Drive-thru clinics are in a position to vaccinate many extra individuals per hour than walk-up clinics, Heragu says. Within the Louisville vaccination challenge, 424 individuals acquired vaccinated per hour within the walk-up website and 762 per hour within the drive-thru.

Different Advantages of Drive-Through Vaccination

Within the Louisville vaccination rollout, individuals most well-liked the drive-thru possibility, Heragu says. At some factors, he says, ”usually we had the walk-up website with nobody ready, and the drive-thru with a 30-minute wait. The attendant would say, ‘You possibly can exit the drive-thru [and go to the walk-up.]'”

Often, Heragu says, individuals selected to attend within the drive-thru. Comfort and behavior might clarify that choice, he says. “Persons are used to doing a drive-thru for a financial institution transaction, for breakfast, even dry cleansing, and extra lately for voting.”

Well being considerations are another excuse many want the drive-up possibility, he suspects. “When persons are in their very own automobile, they aren’t involved about contracting the virus,” he says.

Kids within the automobile with their mother and father are sometimes extra snug staying within the automobile, and oldsters of infants wouldn’t have the additional job of taking infants out and in of automobile seats to make use of walk-up websites, he says.


The drive-thru possibility for vaccination is unquestionably environment friendly, says Michael F. Gorman, PhD, a professor of enterprise analytics and operations on the College of Dayton College of Enterprise in Ohio. He’s editor of the INFORMS Journal on Utilized Analytics, which printed the research.

“The numbers you could possibly do with a [drive-thru] facility like which are very excessive. We have a very environment friendly method to ship it, with excessive capability and low prices.”

The unknown, in fact, he says, is how dependable the vaccine provide is. He agrees that every one the doses estimated within the mannequin ”may very well be given in 100 days if there are sufficient vaccines on the market, [but] provided that there are sufficient vaccines.”

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