Can we offer a drive-through flu clinic to administer flu shots?

Yes, you can offer a drive-through clinic; however, you need to follow the same process as your in-office vaccine administration inclusive of: 

  • Verification of patient identity
  • Physician order (per patient or standing order)
  • Screening for any contraindications for the flu vaccine
  • Preserving the vaccine integrity, proper temperature, sterility, and infection control processes:
    • Consider pre-drawing in office.
    • Label syringe with the name of medication and date.
    • Use proper storage equipment that maintains the manufacturer-recommended temperature range until use.
    • If stored in a unit at the site, ensure vaccine temperature checks are being documented a minimum of two times during each clinic workday (beginning and middle of an 8-hour workday).
    • If vaccines cannot be stored in a storage unit at the site, ensure that they are being kept in the portable vaccine refrigerator or qualified pack-out with a temperature monitoring device (with a probe in a thermal buffer) placed as closely as possible to the vaccines; temperatures are being read and recorded at least once an hour; and the container is kept closed as much as possible.
    • Immediately dispose needles in a sharps container and used supplies in a proper waste receptacle.
    • Wear gloves.
    • Change gloves and sanitize hands between patients and any time hands are soiled.
  • Proper documentation to include:
    • time
    • date
    • injection site
    • answers to screening questions
    • VIS provided (when applicable)
    • consent
    • dose
    • name/type of flu vaccine administered
    • manufacturer
    • lot number
    • expiration date
    • who administered
  • Emergency kit/plan should someone have a reaction
  • Recommend process for the patient to stay in the parking lot for 15 minutes before leaving, post-injection, in case of a reaction

We also recommend that the practice use the CDC’s Checklist for Best Practices for Vaccination Clinics as guidance in conducting the clinic and include any additional screening of patients for COVID-19 symptoms. 

We have also collaborated with Avance Care (one of our member practices) to share their COVID-19 toolkit which includes workflow processes for curbside flu shots.

Below are some additional resources for managing an off-site clinic that could prove helpful in implementing a parking-lot process. These documents can assist in developing processes and procedures related to vaccine storage, handling, administration, and safety in accordance with state law, CDC guidelines, and medical standards of practice. 

News & Knowledge
All Curi recommendations are based on current CDC criteria at the time of publication. CDC guidance for SARS-CoV-2 infection may, or may not, be adopted by state and local health departments to respond to rapidly changing local circumstances. Providers should always check with their local health department to see if the CDC’s guidance on any given topic has been modified (particularly if more restrictive) from the CDC’s recommended guidelines. Follow this link https://www.cdc.gov/publichealthgateway/healthdirectories/index.html for contact information to your state/local health department. If local recommendations vary from those of the CDC, and you are unsure what recommendations to follow, then it is safer to follow the more restrictive guidelines/recommendations.