More than 500 individuals have been immunized through the drive-thru vaccination clinic in Regina as of noon on Monday.
The clinic, which opened just before 8:30 a.m. for its first day Monday, has seen an average of about 100 vehicles go through the facility every hour. The average wait time at the drive-thru site is currently at four to five hours.
Laveena Tratch, who serves as the Regina immunization team leader for the Saskatchewan Health Authority, said they plan to immunize eligible residents for at least the next few days until they run out of AstraZeneca vaccine supplies. The province received 15,500 AstraZeneca doses earlier this month.
“This clinic is intended to be operational for at least seven days while we have the vaccine available,” said Tratch. “We are running it 16 hours a day. So the doors will open at 8:30 in the morning and the last client will be at 11:30 at night.”
At this time, the site is only immunizing residents who are 63 to 64 years of age born between Mar. 16, 1956 and Mar. 15, 1958. All health care workers in Phase 1 of the province’s vaccine rollout plan are also eligible for the drive-thru clinic.
Late Monday afternoon, the SHA added 63-year-old residents to the list of eligible recipients for the drive-thru shot.
Video courtesy of Sask. Health Authority. pic.twitter.com/0RPV0zCKIb
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Tratch mentioned that changes to the eligibility bracket could change soon.
“As our flow starts to slow, then we will know that we can start vaccinating the next age bracket. It will be very similar to our booking system last week where they were able to make a decision mid-afternoon about what will the age bracket be the following day,” she explained.
Staff at the drive-thru site have been making adjustments based on feedback they’ve received through its first day.
With people having to wait a few hours to get their shot, some people in line have shared their concerns regarding a lack of accessible washroom facilities while sitting in lineups in their vehicles. Tratch said they have since added portable toilets on site to fix this issue.
“Both in the post-immunization area and the larger parking lot where they are snaking through, we do have some additional portable toilets,” stated Tratch. “That would be one of the lessons learned in terms of making sure people have access to those facilities when waiting extended periods of time.”