How Detroit is continuing drive-thru vaccinations during frigid temps

Virus Outbreak Florida
Posted at 5:14 PM, Feb 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-08 20:32:20-05

DETROIT- (WXYZ) — During one of the coldest days this winter, thousands of cars came through the parking garage of the TCF Center in Detroit as people received a shot from the front seat of their car.

“It’s nice not having to go anywhere," said teacher Alison Gross. "I can sit and listen to my podcasts.”

The city has given out more than 30,000 doses so far, with more than 3,000 happening at the site on Monday.

"We’re doing about 2,500 first dose appointments and about 800-second dose appointments,” said Detroit's Chief Operating Officer Hakim Berry. "You stay in your own car, you get vaccinated in your own car.”

The drive-thru model is moving people as quickly as possible. Residents here for their second dose are impressed.

“Detroit really has a wonderful system. It’s been rolled out really well,” said Beverly Thomas. "It's a great thing that so many people are getting vaccinated.”

The city chose the TCF Center parking garage as their location, anticipating frigid days like today. It’s fully enclosed, keeping everyone out of the elements.

"This was a beautiful site for us. There's no crosswinds coming through here so you don't get the windchill factor off of the river, it stays pretty comfortable,” Berry said. "It's usually 70 degrees in here so it stays pretty warm for our workers.”

Residents here for their vaccine also benefit from the warmth.

“I prefer indoors than outdoors," said Harold Gibbs. "It’s cold out there.”

Exhaust fans were added to keep the air inside the garage fresh and massive heaters were added to keep it warm. But not all employees get to benefit.

Mike Gill has been working check-ins outside. Monday has been one of the coldest days yet.

"We got on layers," Gill said. "I actually took a break earlier and changed shirts and added some things, switched out hats."

He might not be able to feel his toes right now, but he says it’s worth it to get the city vaccinated. His appointment is now set for Friday and he wants to keep the line moving.

“We know this is essential for the city so we do everything we can to stay in the process and keep functioning,” Gill said.

You can schedule vaccine appointments in Detroit by calling 313-230-0505 Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.