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Keeping Kids Healthy During the COVID-19 Pandemic with Drive-Thru Routine Vaccinations

CentraCare provides families with a convenient and safe curbside vaccination program

As communities have sheltered in place to flatten the curve of COVID-19, many preventive care appointments have been postponed—including those for vaccinations to protect kids from other transmissible diseases, such as measles. CentraCare in Minnesota is providing a curbside, drive-thru vaccination option to keep kids up to date without needing them to come into the clinic.

“If we don’t have a majority of our population vaccinated or immune, we are at a significantly increased risk in developing another infectious disease within our community,” said Dr. Jill Amsberry, a pediatrician at CentraCare Health Plaza. “It’s critical that people don’t delay their vaccinations.”

Families are reminded about upcoming vaccination needs in MyChart. Then, they can call to schedule a drive-thru appointment. CentraCare’s scheduling staff uses a special Curbside Immunization schedule in Epic to handle these appointments.

When families arrive at the clinic, signs guide them to dedicated parking spots where they call to let staff know they’ve arrived. After the phone check-in, families drive to the curbside care area. Nursing staff walk to the car to talk with the family and confirm the planned vaccines before administering them. The nurses document these curbside visits and vaccinations in the patient’s chart in Epic. After the administration, families wait in their designated parking spot for 20 minutes to monitor for any reaction before heading home.

In a little over one month, CentraCare has provided vaccines to nearly 200 patients.

“We’re glad to be able to help keep kids healthy while making sure we take the right precautions during this pandemic,” said Andrew Huxley, pediatric clinic manager at CentraCare. “We want to help ensure long-term good health for these kids, their families, and the entire community.”

Read more from AM 1240 WJON in St. Cloud.