Drive-in vaccination allows 16 seconds per shot

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 25 August 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b3462
  1. Bob Roehr
  1. 1Washington, DC

    Officials in metropolitan Louisville, Kentucky (population 1.2 million) have found a new way to rapidly inoculate a population. Last year the metropolitan public health department offered free seasonal flu jabs at the empty county fairground, a massive complex with good road transportation in the highly car dependent region. The complex has a single entry point to the parking areas, with tollbooths, which is where they set up nine inoculation stations.

    Hundreds of cars were lined up at the appointed hour. Health department staff members handed out information, gathered informed consent forms, and asked patients to roll up their sleeves and roll down their windows to prepare them for the shot by the time they hit the tollbooth, said Adewale Troutman, the regional public health director. He was speaking at the international swine flu conference in Washington, DC.

    “In our plan we allowed 16 seconds to administer the injection,” he said. At the peak of the vaccination effort, officials administered 1000 flu jabs in 40 minutes. To maintain the high rate of flow they closed lanes when the volume of traffic diminished.

    Dr Troutman said they set up video cameras on the outer roads to monitor and anticipate traffic, monitored the carbon monoxide levels of idling cars, and learnt the hard way to prepare for the possibility of a car breaking down.

    Officials have since identified other similar points of distribution throughout the region, each with two to four lanes of capacity, so that they can vaccinate the entire local population in just a few days. The local health department has prepared a dozen large trailers stocked with vaccination supplies, stored in an underground facility, that can be deployed immediately.


    Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b3462

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