* Drive up Vaccination at LA General
With flu season approaching in the midst of a pandemic, the Health Services had to rapidly mobilize to vaccinate hundreds of thousands of patients for influenza as we headed into a potential COVID-19 winter surge. But with limited ability to vaccinate during routine, in-person doctor appointments, and with declining rates of adult and pediatric immunization observed throughout the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new approach was needed. As a result, in less than two months, Health Services Primary Care created forty-four (44) new pop-up immunization clinics, both walk-up and drive-through, for adults and children located throughout Los Angeles County. At the same time, responding to an increase in the prevalence of food insecurity with our patients, some drive-through immunization visits were paired with food distribution for families reporting food insecurity.
As a result of these new pop-up vaccination clinics, which rolled out with a large scale, coordinated patient outreach campaign, Health Services significantly impacted the immunization gap for our patients. Influenza vaccination rates for September and October2020 (9.7%, 20.1%) actually exceeded rates for the same months in 2019 (7.8%, 18.9%). Additionally, some of the families arriving for vaccine visits who screened positive for food insecurity were provided with a box of food upon arrival to their visit, through community partners such as the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank. Critically, these walk-up and drive-through clinics established a framework for COVID-19 vaccinations, which began in December 2020 at these same sites.
Among the lessons learned, were that walk-up and drive-through clinics were not only feasible, but necessary for us to deliver essential care to our most vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Health Services adult and pediatric vaccine drive-up service established a strong scalable framework for other services and provided guidance for related operations such as safe traffic flow, regulatory approved storage, inventory tracking and COVID-19 staffing strategies.