FORT DRUM, New York (Jan. 1, 2021) – The Fort Drum Veterinary Treatment Facility hosted a drive-up vaccine clinic at their facility on Fort Drum, New York, Dec. 28.
The day-long event provided much-needed inoculations and wellness exams while minimizing person-to-person contact. Additionally, no appointments were necessary, allowing the clinic to care for more pets than on a typical day.
“If it’s by appointment, we’re probably seeing about 15 or 20 (pets) a day,” said Capt. Breanna Johnson, the Fort Drum Veterinary Services branch chief. Conducting no-appointment, drive-up clinics allows the staff to care for upwards of 90 pets in a day.
“Everyone (in the clinic) gets involved,” she added. “There’s a lot of teamwork and a lot of prep work that goes into something like this, but we’re able to see so many pets in one day, and I think it really makes a big impact.”
To have their pets seen, owners whose pets are registered with the clinic were able to simply drive up to the door, check in with the veterinary technician, and wait in their vehicle as their pets were cared for inside.
“We want to ensure accessibility to healthcare for everyone,” Johnson said. “This is one of the ways we do it. It’s a great way to stay up to date with the housing regulations.”
For all Fort Drum residents, both military and civilian, their pets must meet specific regulatory requirements to live on post, such as being registered with the vet clinic and having their vaccinations up to date.
“We really want to help people,” Johnson said. “You don’t even have to get out of your car. We’re trying to make it as easy as possible for folks to comply with the regulation, and it’s better for everybody.”
Outside of meeting regulatory requirements, Johnson emphasizes the importance of keeping pets’ vaccinations up to date.
“You’re protecting yourself from zoonotic diseases you can get from your pets,” she said. “(Also) the same reason why you get your children vaccinated. These are very easily preventable. It’s super easy to prevent a lot of these catastrophic diseases that can kill your pet.”
This was the fourth drive-up vaccination clinic Johnson’s team hosted since July. Each vaccine clinic allows the team to see upwards of 90 pets during a typical day. Johnson plans to have her clinic conduct about one drive-up vaccination clinic per month.
“Or even more frequently as long as they’re successful and people are showing up,” she added.