COVID Vaccine: Drive-Thru Best Practices

Five best practices for states conducting drive-thru COVID vaccinations are the implementation of IT, the use of backroom staff, Vaccine Preparation, Clinical Preparation and Supplies and Vaccine Storage and Handling. UCHealth was able to achieve the fastest vaccination process in 22 minutes, including check-in, vaccination, and a 15-minute observation period in a nearby parking lot to ensure no one had adverse reactions.

1. The Use of IT

2. Use of Backroom Staff

3. Clinical Preparation and Supplies

  • It is crucial to have a contingency plan in the event vaccines need to be replaced. “The plan should address the scenarios for vaccines compromised before arrival at the clinic and for vaccines compromised during clinic hours.”
  • An emergency medical kit that includes equipment for maintaining an airway and epinephrine should always be at the clinic.
  • The vaccination providers at the drive-thru clinic should be certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), be familiar with the symptoms of anaphylaxis, understand their role during an emergency, and be aware of where epinephrine is located and trained on its use.
  • There should be a designated area for patients who have urgent medical problems such as fainting.
  • Adequate infection control supplies including hand hygiene supplies and biohazard containers should be provided. “If administering injectable vaccines, adhesive bandages, individually package sterile alcohol wipes, and a sufficient number of sterile needles and syringes and a sharps container” should be provided.
  • Staff members who administer vaccines should always review manufacturers’ guidelines for administration before the drive-thru clinic.
  • Standing order protocols should be updated and available at the drive-thru clinic.
  • The clinic should have an adequate number of vaccine information statements for every vaccine being offered.
  • The clinic should have a designated cleaning area that can be used for vaccine preparation.
  • A qualified staff member should be assigned to supervise infection control at the drive-thru clinic.

4. Vaccine Storage and Handling

  • Proper storage equipment that maintains the temperature range recommended by the manufacturer should be used for storing vaccines. Examples of proper storage equipment include qualified containers and packouts and portable vaccine refrigerators that are designed to maintain the recommended temperatures.
  • Vaccine temperature during the clinic should be monitored. This can be done “using a digital data logger with a buffered probe (placed directly with vaccines) and a current and valid Certificate of Calibration Testing.”
  • If the site has a storage unit where vaccines are being stored, vaccine temperature data must be reviewed and recorded at least two times a day to ensure they maintain the correct temperatures. In this case the correct temperatures are “between 2–8° Celsius or 36–46° Fahrenheit for ALL refrigerated vaccines”
  • If it is not possible to store the vaccines in a storage unit at the clinic, they should be stored in a qualified packout or vaccine refrigerator with a temperature monitoring device that is close to the vaccines. The temperatures should be read and recorded every hour and the container should remain closed most of the times.
  • Vaccines should be kept away from direct sunlight as per manufacturer’s guidelines.

5. Vaccine Preparation

Glenn is the Lead Operations Research Analyst at The Digital Momentum with experience in research, statistical data analysis and interview techniques. A holder of degree in Economics. A true specialist in quantitative and qualitative research.

COVID Vaccine: States Using Drive-Thru Vaccination Sites

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