A Drive-through Flu Shot Clinic: Is it Time to Try One?

Terry Brenneman, MD

The traditional flu shot clinic with waiting rooms full won't work this year. One practice planned its own drive-through flu vaccination clinic. Here's how.

The COVID-19 pandemic has added a wrinkle to my pediatric office's plans to administer more than 1,000 influenza vaccines to our patients and their parents.

In previous years we would put families in an exam room, administer the shot or live nasal vaccine, and send everyone back out through the waiting room packed with other families waiting their turn. We did this both during regular office hours and also during some after hours times in the evening and on weekends.

This traditional approach will not work this year for several reasons:

  • The requirement for social distancing means we can't have several families waiting in the reception area for their turn in an exam room.
  • Time between each family would now need to be built in, drastically reducing the number of persons we could vaccinate per hour.
  • Cleaning all the surfaces in a room between each family’s use—something we’ve not needed to do previously—would also add time and expense.

So, here in Raleigh, NC, we have come up with a plan.

We have all seen pictures on TV of long lines of cars with persons waiting their turn for a COVID-19 test or to pick up some free groceries for the unemployed.

Why wouldn't this “drive through” approach work for your office in giving vaccines?