A Drive-through Simulation Tool for Mass Vaccination during COVID-19 Pandemic

Healthcare (Basel). 2020 Nov 9;8(4):469. doi: 10.3390/healthcare8040469.


Several research and development teams around the world are working towards COVID-19 vaccines. As vaccines are expected to be developed and produced, preparedness and planning for mass vaccination and immunization will become an important aspect of the pandemic management. Mass vaccination has been used by public health agencies in the past and is being proposed as a viable option for COVID-19 immunization. To be able to rapidly and safely immunize a large number of people against SARS-CoV-2, different mass vaccination options are available. Drive-through facilities have been successfully used in the past for immunization against other diseases and for testing during COVID-19. In this paper we introduce a drive-through vaccination simulation tool that can be used to enhance the planning, design, operation, and feasibility and effectiveness assessment of such facilities. The simulation tool is a hybrid model that integrates discrete event and agent-based modeling techniques. The simulation outputs visually and numerically show the average processing and waiting times and the number of cars and people that can be served (throughput values) under different numbers of staff, service lanes, screening, registration, immunization, and recovery times.

Keywords: COVID-19; agent-based simulation; discrete event simulation; drive-through; mass immunization; mass vaccination; point of dispensing.