New Research Finds Drive-Through Mass-Vaccination Clinics Could Alter COVID-19 Trajectory

Researchers Use Data from the H1N1 Pandemic to Model Pathway to Achieve Faster Vaccination to Stem COVID-19 Crisis

INFORMS Journal on Applied Analytics Key Takeaways:

  • Although waiting times in walk-up clinics are shorter, people preferred the convenience of drive-through clinics.
  • People believe drive-through clinics are safer, more convenient and less contagious.
  • You can vaccinate a large number of people without a lot of waiting and confusion using a drive-through clinic.

CATONSVILLE, MD, February 17, 2021 – Policymakers at all levels of government are racing to vaccinate hundreds of millions of people to save lives and blunt the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. New research published in the INFORMS Journal on Applied Analytics provides a simulated model for drive-through clinics that can be used for mass COVID-19 vaccinations based on the successful use of such a clinic to address H1N1. 

The paper, “Lessons from Modeling and Running the World′s Largest Drive-Through, Mass Vaccination Clinic,” looks at data from The Louisville Metro Public Health and Wellness department during the H1N1 vaccinations. The authors, Sunderesh Heragu of Oklahoma State University and Thomas van de Kracht of Vanderlande Industries, note that a total of 19,318 residents were vaccinated via a drive-through and a walk-up clinic over 1.5 days – nearly two-thirds of whom specifically used the drive-through clinic. The authors found that people preferred the convenience of drive-through clinics because they perceived it was safer, more convenient and less contagious.

"As policymakers address how to bolster mass vaccinations for COVID-19, drive-through vaccination sites offer a means to inoculate people faster and with less waiting and confusion as compared to other mass vaccination approaches,” said Heragu, a Regents professor and head of the School of Industrial Engineering and Management at OSU. "This could readily be done in literally every single community, transforming the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic once and for all.”



The authors are available for interviews by contacting Ashley Smith at 443-597-2562.


Link to full study.


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INFORMS Journal on Applied Analytics is a premier peer-reviewed scholarly journal focused on the practice of operations research and management science and the impact this practice has on organizations throughout the world. It is published by INFORMS, the leading international association for operations research and analytics professionals. More information is available at or @informs.





Ashley Smith


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New Research Finds Drive-Through Mass-Vaccination Clinics Could Alter COVID-19 Trajectory

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Ashley Smith
Public Affairs Coordinator
Catonsville, MD
[email protected]

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