Drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination clinics could expedite widespread immunity, study says

Widespread installations of drive-thru clinics for mass vaccination could significantly accelerate the nation's efforts to achieve COVID-19 herd immunity, according to research published in the INFORMS Journal on Applied Analytics.

Researchers studied the successful use of drive-thru clinics for mass vaccinations during the 2009 H1N1 outbreak, examining data from The Louisville Metro Public Health and Wellness department during its H1N1 vaccination campaign.

The study authors found that 19,318 patients were vaccinated via either a drive-thru or walk-up clinic over 1.5 days, and about two-thirds of them went to drive-thru clinics. The research team also said that people generally preferred drive-thru clinics because they perceived them to be more convenient and less contagious than walk-up clinics.

"As policymakers address how to bolster mass vaccinations for COVID-19, drive-thru vaccination sites offer a means to inoculate people faster and with less waiting and confusion as compared to other mass vaccination approaches," Sunderesh Heragu, PhD, one of the researchers, said in a Feb. 17 news release. "This could readily be done in literally every single community, transforming the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic once and for all."

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