The COVID-19 pandemic has given “drive-through” new meaning, with drive-through testing and medical appointments becoming part of the new normal.
As social distancing continues, consider hosting a Texas Medical Association Be Wise – ImmunizeSM drive-through shot clinic, as the Lamar-Delta County Medical Society has done the past six years with financial support from TMA.
“Especially during this time, when we are trying to limit access inside our practices to unneeded exposures and numbers of people in the waiting room, the car has become an interesting transition space for care,” said Paris hospitalist Amanda Green, MD, who helps organize the annual flu shot event. “The drive-through injection clinic fits perfectly with the recent models communities have been using to provide care, including food, for those in need.”
TMA offers Local Impact Grants of up to $2,500 to support shot clinics hosted by TMA physicians/clinics, medical students, county medical societies, and TMA Alliance chapters. If you want to host an event in the fall or early next year, the deadline to apply for a grant is July 15, the final application date for 2020.
Dr. Green says her county medical society couldn’t give almost 400 shots in the drive-through clinic without community collaboration. Other partners include the local health department and a local bank. Local law enforcement helps direct traffic.
Here’s how the event works: Three drive-through bank lanes are opened on Saturday afternoon after the bank closes. Volunteers hand out paperwork when people approach, and clinicians review consent forms so they are completed before people make it to the shot station. Each station has sharps containers, tackle boxes with alcohol swabs and bandages, and ice chests with flu shots.
People from all walks attend the clinic: several generations in the same vehicle, busy young professionals, people who are elderly or mobility-impaired who would have difficulty getting a flu shot without the drive-through format, and people who drive by spontaneously and then receive care they might not otherwise have taken time to access.
Dr. Green said she loves the flu clinic for what it provides to the community. “It is a visible reminder and promotion of the importance of the yearly flu vaccination. So even if people can't make the event, they mention it and tell me they get a shot through another venue during the flu season,” she said.
You can achieve similar success in your town. Use the new TMA Foundation Online Grant Interface to submit a Be Wise grant application by July 15.
For help planning your free or low-cost vaccination event, check out the Be Wise – Immunize Quick Start Manual: A Step-by-Step Vaccination Outreach Guide and Be Wise Event Ideas. Or contact Tammy Wishard, TMA outreach coordinator, at (512) 370-1470 or via email.
TMA actively works to improve vaccination rates in Texas through the Be Wise program. Nearly 390,000 shots have been given to Texas children, adolescents, and adults since the program began in 2004.
Be Wise – Immunize is a joint initiative led by TMA physicians, medical students, and the TMA Alliance. It is funded in 2020 by the TMA Foundation, thanks to major support from H-E-B and Permian Basin Youth Chavarim.
Be Wise – Immunize is a service mark of the Texas Medical Association.