GRANDVILLE, Mich. — Spectrum Health is piloting a new program for those who still may be apprehensive about a visit to the doctor's office: drive-up immunizations.
While still offering in-office vaccines and other services, Spectrum officials say they recognize that not everyone may be comfortable with going into the doctor's office, which is why they're giving patients the option to get a vaccine or other services like strep throat tests through curbside appointments.
“There’s no change in the CDC recommendations for immunizations, even during COVID,” Mary Zimmerman, Immunization Program Specialist for Spectrum Health said.
Zimmerman says they've seen a small drop in people coming in for routine vaccines. Which is why this new service is all the more important. She says they don't want to see spikes of other illnesses because people are apprehensive about an office visit.
Internal Operations Director Malissa Becksvoort says for some patients, this may be an even easier option than a traditional doctor's office visit.
“I think it’s also great for patients who have trouble ambulating or may have special needs, where they prefer to stay in their car where they’re safer,” Becksvoort said.
For patients like Ruth Aernouths, this added option is the difference between putting off a vaccine. Ruth didn't want to go into the doctor's office. But with the new curbside option, she got a shingles vaccine and was in and out in about 10 minutes.
“It’s bad enough you have to come in when you’re sick, but I’m not sick,” Aernouths said. “I’m used to the curbside food pick up, but this is the first time I’m doing medical.”
The program is in its pilot stages at Spectrum. They're hoping to have it rolled out to all of their locations by the time flu season rolls around, so people can get the flu vaccine from the comfort of their car.