The Anatomy of a Mobile Covid-19 Vaccine Clinic

Ari Mokdad /// 02/05/2021

What is a Mobile Vaccine Clinic?

The idea of a mobile vaccine clinic is not new and has become a key component in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. Mobile vaccine clinics started with a nationwide push to get more flu vaccines to the American public. However, Covid-19 has highlighted not only the need but the requirement of mobile vaccine clinics to maximize the distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine. With two vaccines approved by the FDA, and the potential of additional vaccines being approved through the EUA designation, mobile vaccine clinics will play a huge role in keeping communities and healthcare workers safe. Another benefit of mobile vaccine clinics are their ability to travel, which is an important element in vaccinating both rural and urban populations efficiently and safely. Mobile vaccination clinics are typically held in open parking lots or fields and can include drive-thru or walk-in experiences, depending on weather conditions and other factors. The CDC has issued several guidelines for healthcare providers, community coalitions, health departments, long-term care facilities, and tribal health organizations, to support their efforts in planning for mobile vaccine distribution.

View Largerexample of drive-thru vaccination tent

Why are mobile vaccine clinics important

Over the course of the past few months, we have all learned about aerosol transmission and the vital need for proper air ventilation, especially in the event of multiple households converging. Proper mask wearing and personal hygiene also go a long way in controlling the spread of Covid-19. However, as many health experts have suggested, being outdoors provides ample air ventilation that can help cut back on the potential spread of Covid-19, especially if proper mask wearing, sanitation, and social distancing measures are also in place. With that in mind, mobile vaccine clinics, when held outdoors, can provide a safe and efficient way to distribute the Covid-19 vaccine quickly. Additionally, mobile vaccine clinics allow for distribution in rural areas that may not have a large healthcare system in their community, supporting a more equitable distribution plan across America.

Who is hosting them?

Many of America’s healthcare providers such as hospital systems, community healthcare coalitions, long-term care facilities, rural health clinics, and pharmacies, among many others, are being asked to support the mass vaccine distribution in their regions. Although many states around the country are still reporting low quantities of vaccine doses, it’s expected that there will be a general increase in vaccine availability as soon as this spring. President Biden announced on January 21, 2021 that his administration is working on purchasing an additional 200 million doses of the two approved Covid-19 vaccines. Biden’s goal is to administer a minimum of 10 million doses per week, but in order to do so, it will require the collaboration from local Departments of Health and Human Services as well as thousands of medical professionals, state and local leaders, tribes, supply chain systems, pharmacies, and the cooperation of millions of Americans. The Biden administration has recognized not only the importance of large vaccine drives, specifically useful in larger urban areas, but also the necessity of mobile vaccination clinics for rural communities—in an effort to make vaccine access equitable for all Americans.

How are vaccines being distributed?

The CDC plans for vaccination administration to be done in phases, focusing on healthcare professionals, essential workers, immunocompromised individuals, and adults 65 and up to start. In the Covid-19 Vaccination Program Interim Operational Guidance for Jurisdictions Playbook, it notes that the key to safely administering the vaccination program on the widest scale relies on healthcare workers and essential healthcare supporting staff to be vaccinated first. Once vaccinated, healthcare workers and staff will be able to help support mass vaccine efforts. However, the CDC, in an additional Covid-19 Playbook, highlights the “operational burden” of hosting the several styles of vaccination clinics. Notably, it lists mobile vaccine clinics in both small and large scale as having some operational burden, but significant benefits in the number of doses able to be administered. More specifically, large scale, mobile vaccination clinics are estimated to be able to administer around 4,000 doses a day, which equals more than 80,000 doses a month. States are going to be tasked with ramping these numbers up if America hopes to resume some level of “normal” by the end of summer. The CDC and the Biden administration have already voiced their support for mobile vaccine clinics to support large scale vaccination efforts.

View Largerexample of covid 19 drive thru vaccination tent

What Kind of Tents are Used for Mobile Vaccine Clinics?

Since the beginning of the pandemic, TentCraft has worked with our clients to determine the best solutions and set ups to help achieve max efficacy during mobile Covid-19 screening events that prioritize safety. Some of our clients, such as Kaiser Permanente Health Systems, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Beaumont, the Medical University of South Carolina, and the Kansas State Health Department, among others, required durable solutions that could handle being put up and taken down frequently as well as transported. Some required more long-term solutions as their Covid-19 screening tents would be left up for weeks at a time.

While planning for a mobile vaccine clinic, its important to consider two questions: Are you looking for easy, quick-deploy solutions, such as a pop-up tent? Or do you need a semi-permanent structure? Perhaps your answer might be a combination of both! Pop-up tents, such as our heavy-duty MONARCHTENT provide a fast and easy setup within a matter of seconds. Our pop-up tents are built for durability with an all-aluminum framework that’s backed by our Lifetime Frame Warranty. Frame tents, on the other hand, are capable of being left up for longer periods of time and can accommodate a larger footprint. Both our pop-up tent and frame tent models can be built for drive-thru or walk-in clinic formats. Many of our clients are planning to utilize both tent options for their mobile vaccine clinics—and because our products are 100% American-made, we have a quick turnaround time of 3 days and can customize to fit your exact needs.

View Largerexample of covid 19 vaccination drive thru tent

Why American Made Matters

President Biden recently signed of an executive order on January 25, 2021, which is aimed at strengthening American manufacturing and prioritizing the expenditure of tax dollars on American-made products. This executive order comes after the Covid-19 pandemic illuminated several weaknesses in America’s supply chain and reliance on other countries; from PPE to syringes, and beyond. As a Veteran Owned Small Business (VOSB), TentCraft products are proudly made in America, with American craftsmanship and quality materials. We are one of the only American-made pop-up tent manufacturers, which means we are able to customize and build unique solutions for every client. Additionally, TentCraft is a GSA certified manufacturer, allowing us to best serve our communities during the Covid-19 pandemic and offer immediate support to the frontline workers in search of solutions for mobile vaccine clinics.

One Example of a Mobile Vaccine Clinic Layout

View Largerexample of drive thru covid 19 tent

There are several configurations that can work well and take into consideration the CDC’s guideline for social distancing and safety protocols during mobile vaccine clinics. For example, one of our clients is using two 13’x26’ MONARCHTENT drive-thru tents as a patient check-in station. This allows staff to collect important registration information, conduct temperature checks, and provide guidance for incoming patients while also maintaining the flow of traffic and minimal contact between patients. Once past the check-in tent, patients are directed to park their vehicles in the parking lot and proceed to their assigned “vaccination tent,” which could be anywhere from five to twenty 10’x10’ MONARCHTENTs. Each tent would be numbered to coincide with patient’s assigned numbers from check-in. Once vaccinated, patients would be required to move to a large 40’x40’ frame tent (a semi-permanent option) for about 15-20 minutes in order for healthcare staff to observe patients in case of an extreme allergic reaction. Although rare, the CDC has suggested that vaccination clinics include an observation area that is accessible for medical professionals in the event a patient has an anaphylactic reaction requiring additional medical attention. In this layout, using ten 10’x10’ tents, would yield on average 320 patients vaccinated a day and 1,600 patients vaccinated in a week.

Why is an Observation Tent Important?

The CDC, in its Interim Considerations page, states that anaphylaxis is an “acute and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction” and although it is incredibly rare, has been reported during clinical Covid-19 vaccinations. To be clear, the CDC is not trying to insinuate fear or distrust in patients, but rather, asks that healthcare professionals be aware by building an anaphylactic observation area into their vaccine clinic format. The current recommendation from the CDC states that a patient with a history of “immediate allergic reactions” be observed for a minimum of 30 minutes after receiving their Covid-19 vaccine. Whereas any other patient, should be observed for 15 minutes following their Covid-19 vaccine. Thankfully, these situations are rare and if detected early, can be treated.

Regardless of your mobile vaccine clinic size, we are here to help support your team. With our skilled team of engineers and ability to render your ideas, we can help you design a Covid-19 vaccination clinic to suit your specific needs. TentCraft has built thousands of tents to support healthcare professionals since the Covid-19 pandemic began, and we remain steadfast in our commitment to providing you with high-quality solutions made right here in the United States.

About TentCraft

We’re more than just custom pop up tents — TentCraft is a premium fabricator of all things experiential marketing and outdoor advertising. If it combines metal, fabric and print our team of skilled craftsmen can transform any napkin sketch or wild idea into a fully realized project. Serving the biggest brands on the planet as well as your local High School, if you want the perfect blend of quality and American craftsmanship, we’ve got you covered.