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

Based mostly 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 folks in 1½ days at a mass vaccination web site in Louisville, KY. Whereas drive-thru vaccinations will not be new, even within the present pandemic, Heragu’s mannequin comes with particular pointers to maximise effectivity.President Joe Biden has set a aim of giving 100 million COVID vaccine pictures by April 30, his 100th day in workplace. As of Thursday, 57.5 million of the pictures had been given, according to the CDC.

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

All the 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 may be 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 per week for 8 hours a day. Every location would dispense 10,000 pictures a day, for a complete of 1 million vaccinations per web site over 100 days, or 350 million pictures complete, Heragu says.

At mass vaccination websites in operation now, he says, the variety of pictures is way decrease than his 10,000 aim. “Usually it’s 1,000 to 2,000 a day,” Heragu says.

To succeed in the ten,000 aim, every web site ought to embody:

  • 5 tents, with every tent serving two vehicles without delay
  • 4 nurses’ stations in every tent, with two nurses per station, for a complete of 40 nurses per web site (or extra, in the event that they scale back shifts to lower than 8 hours)

The mannequin plugs in a number of different eventualities, equivalent to estimating automobiles would journey by means of 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, consists of time for a consent kind to be signed. If a consent kind is accomplished on-line earlier than the vaccination appointment, that might shave off 2 or 3 minutes, Heragu says, and improve the entire variety of vaccinations.

It Labored in Louisville

On the Louisville web site that used the mannequin in 2009, 19,000 pictures got in simply 1½ days, Heragu says. That vaccination program included choices for drive-thru and for walk-up. “They’d 19,000 doses, and greater than 12,000 have been achieved by means of the drive-thru, and about one-third by means of the walk-up,” he says.

Drive-thru clinics are capable of vaccinate many extra folks per hour than walk-up clinics, Heragu says. Within the Louisville vaccination mission, 424 folks bought vaccinated per hour within the walk-up web site and 762 per hour within the drive-thru.

Different Advantages of Drive-Via Vaccination

Within the Louisville vaccination rollout, folks most well-liked the drive-thru choice, Heragu says. At some factors, he says, ”typically we had the walk-up web site with nobody ready, and the drive-thru with a 30-minute wait. The attendant would say, ‘You’ll be able to exit the drive-thru [and go to the walk-up.]'”

Normally, Heragu says, folks 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 issues are one more reason many desire the drive-up choice, he suspects. “When individuals are in their very own automobile, they don’t seem to be involved about contracting the virus,” he says.

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


The drive-thru choice 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 can do with a [drive-thru] facility like which are very excessive. We have a extremely environment friendly solution to ship it, with excessive capability and low prices.”

The unknown, after all, he says, is how dependable the vaccine provide is. He agrees that each 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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