Considerations for Planning Curbside/Drive-Through Vaccination Clinics
Because of COVID-19, there has been a decrease in non-urgent, face-to-face, routine medical visits, including those for routine vaccinations. But unfortunately, postponing or canceling routine vaccinations for children and adults leaves individuals vulnerable to becoming infected with vaccine-preventable diseases and increases the risk of vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks. One way to ensure that people continue to receive needed vaccines is to set up a curbside or drive-through vaccination clinic. If you are planning a curbside or drive-through vaccination clinic, some issues for consideration include:
- When to screen for contraindications and precautions
- How to store, handle, and prepare vaccines properly
- How to follow infection control practices
- How to ensure patient and health care provider safety while
- What measures to take if the driver is being vaccinated
This guidance should be used in conjunction with Guidance for Planning Vaccination Clinics Held at Satellite, Temporary, or Off-Site Locations and the Satellite, Temporary, and Off-Site Vaccination Clinic Supply Checklist.
- Start by finalizing clinic specifics, such as what vaccine(s) will be offered to which age group(s) and/or what patient health insurance requirements need to be met.
- Identify the clinic site, considering how much space will be needed based on clinic activities, physical distancing practices, enhanced infection control procedures (including handwashing stations), proper vaccine storage, handling, preparation, and administration practices, traffic and weather considerations, and safety issues for patients and health care personnel. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and CDC ask providers to strongly consider observing patients for 15 minutes after vaccination because syncope (fainting) is possible after vaccination. This is critical at a drive-through vaccination clinic because of the potential for injury when the vaccinated person is the driver. Enough parking should be available for drivers to wait the recommended 15 minutes after vaccination. If possible, this should be done in the same space the vaccination occurs, or in a staff-monitored parking area nearby.
- Internet access may be needed so you can retrieve information from or enter information into an immunization information system (IIS) or electronic medical record.
- Establish logistics and clinic flow. How will you practice social distancing when possible? What safety guidelines are needed (for example, having passengers remain in their vehicles, restraining children properly, not allowing pets that could possibly bite health care personnel, etc.)? Ideally, vehicles should be able to enter and exit in separate areas.
- Determine staff training needs. Staff may need to practice:
- Proper storage and handling
- How to access patients in a potentially limited space (including multiple
patients in a vehicle, different vehicle heights)
- Proper injection site identification and injection technique
- Consider offering clinic services by appointment only. This will allow staff to:
- Review the patient’s vaccination record in the IIS or electronic medical record, screen for contraindications and precautions, and provide after-care instructions by phone or email.
- Obtain health insurance information if needed.
- Inform patients of any clinic requirements (such as wearing masks, post-vaccination waiting periods, and clinic restrictions [such as patient age, vehicle type, or number of patients per vehicle, etc.]). Include information on requirements and restrictions in all electronic communications and promotional materials and on websites.
- Staff should wear appropriate personal protective equipment and patients should wear face coverings.
- Provide the patient or parent with the appropriate vaccine information statements and a screening checklist for contraindications and precautions.
- Review and assess the completed contraindications and precautions checklist and any vaccination records provided by the patient, along with those in the IIS and electronic health record (if available).
- Obtain insurance information if needed.
- Inform the driver they will need to wait 15 minutes before leaving the clinic area.
- Ensure staff follows proper vaccine administration practices, including:
- Aseptic practices for administration supplies (e.g., bandages, alcohol swabs, and syringes and needles)
- Proper patient positioning
- Identification of the recommended injection site (does a car door need to be opened to administer vaccine correctly?)
- Making sure patients are seated to prevent injury from a fall if the patient faints
- Give patients a record of the vaccines they received.
- Document all vaccinations in the immunization information system and electronic medical record (if possible).
- Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices General Best Practice Guidelines for Immunization
- Tools to Assist Satellite, Temporary, and Off-Site Vaccination Clinicsexternal icon
- CDC Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit
- Vaccine Administration Practices
- You Call the Shots web-based training courses
- Information for Healthcare Professionals about Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Administering Flu Vaccine During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Immunization Information Systems