As the snow fell on Saturday, Saskatchewan residents wound around the parking lot at the Martensville Aquatic Centre to receive flu immunization shots at the Martensville Health and Wellness drive-thru clinic.
The outdoor clinic was the brainchild of Dr. Allison Adamus, who normally runs a “shots for tots” clinic designed to make children comfortable while being vaccinated.
This year, due to COVID-19-based restrictions, she decided to offer a drive-thru flu clinic, making immunization easier not just for kids, but their families as well.
“We had to come up with some form of alternative to try to get everybody vaccinated still, but without the crowds that we’re used to, and this is what we came up with,” Dr. Allison Adamus said.
The clinic was the first of its kind in Saskatchewan, and for setup ideas, Adamus leaned on friends out-of-province who had previously utilized the format of a drive-thru clinic.
“Some other provinces had been doing drive-thru flu clinics,” she said. “So I asked a few questions of some of the physicians that I could get in touch with out there, and we pulled it together.”
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One of the initial struggles faced by Adamus and her team has finding a large enough location to facilitate a drive-thru clinic.
“One of our biggest challenges was to try and find the right setting or the right place to do this,” she said. “We don’t have a specific setup that works well for a drive-thru, partly because we’ve never done this before.”
Over their three days of offering the drive-thru clinic, over 1,000 people received their flu shot. The reception from those who utilized the service was better than anything Adamus and her staff could’ve imagined.
“A lot of people have told us that they felt so safe to come this way, because they didn’t have to enter a public space, they didn’t have to wait in a public building,” Adamus said. “They felt that this was the best way to get their families (vaccinated).”