Policymakers at all levels of government are racing to vaccinate hundreds of millions of people to save lives and blunt the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. New research published in the INFORMS Journal on Applied Analytics provides a simulated model for drive-through clinics that can be used for mass COVID-19 vaccinations based on the successful use of such a clinic to address H1N1.
The paper, "Lessons from Modeling and Running the World's Largest Drive-Through, Mass Vaccination Clinic," looks at data from The Louisville Metro Public Health and Wellness department during the H1N1 vaccinations. The authors, Sunderesh Heragu of Oklahoma State University and Thomas van de Kracht of Vanderlande Industries, note that a total of 19,318 residents were vaccinated via a drive-through and a walk-up clinic over 1.5 days - nearly two-thirds of whom specifically used the drive-through clinic. The authors found that people preferred the convenience of drive-through clinics because they perceived it was safer, more convenient, and less contagious.
"As policymakers address how to bolster mass vaccinations for COVID-19, drive-through vaccination sites offer a means to inoculate people faster and with less waiting and confusion as compared to other mass vaccination approaches," said Heragu, a Regents professor and head of the School of Industrial Engineering and Management at OSU. "This could readily be done in literally every single community, transforming the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic once and for all."