COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Columbus Public Health is teaming up with first responders for one special mission: to make the COVID-19 shot as accessible as possible.
The plan is to accomplish this with drive-through vaccination clinics.
Columbus Public Health organized similar clinics at the Celeste Center on the Ohio State Fairgrounds at the start of the vaccination process.
This time, it’s on a smaller scale.
It’s not your typical drive-through, driving through a fire station, but Columbus Public Health Director Dr. Mysheika Roberts said it’s a key addition starting this Tuesday.
“We’ll be offering COVID-19 vaccine that’ll include those who are starting their primary series, those who are eligible for a third dose, or those Pfizer recipients that want their booster vaccine as well as offering the flu vaccine,” she said.
Station 10 firefighters and staff with CPH will operate the clinic Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on West Broad Street at that fire station. On Cleveland Avenue, Station 18 will hold clinic hours on Thursdays.
Roberts said the Celeste Center drive-through had a great turnout and worked well for the older population and people with mobility issues.
“Some people just don’t want to be indoors with a lot of people even though everyone’s wearing a mask, so a drive-through clinic gives you that safety measure as well,” she said.
These two particular stations were chosen for a reason: being able to withstand traffic and being off a main road, but also, “Were they in a neighborhood where we felt we needed to cater to and we had a large percentage of the population that needed easy access to the vaccine,” Roberts said.
In Columbus, Roberts said vaccination coverage is in the 46 to 48 percent range, which is why the clinics are key and CPH plans to keep them going at least until the end of 2021.
“At this point in time, we’re planning for the long haul and we will continue to offer these clinics at the health department, the three rec centers, as well as these two fire stations,” Roberts said.
Appointments are not needed for the drive-through clinics.