Following a request from the Atlanta VA, Dr. Steven Ghim of North Carolina traveled to Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta to join more than a hundred doctors, nurses, and other dentists and additional support volunteers at a drive-through COVID-19 vaccination event.
More than 1,200 veterans received the Moderna vaccine during the March 13 drive-through clinic. Many of those who received the vaccine were getting their second dose.
Ghim noted that drive-through vaccination is a fast and efficient way for veterans and other members of the public to receive their shots. It eliminates the need to make an appointment and to wait at clinics or doctors’ offices, helping those in the healthcare system respond more effectively to other medical needs throughout the crisis.
Also, Ghim said, VA systems in other jurisdictions can look to the Atlanta event as a model for how to provide veterans with speedy access to vaccinations. He additionally sees a larger opportunity for dentists in North Carolina and across the nation to work alongside other healthcare providers to combat the disease.
“The faster we have outreach, the better people will feel about getting back to the normalcy of everyday life,” said Ghim, who specializes in cosmetic dentistry. Ghim also is a veteran himself and a chief dental officer with the Air Force.
The Atlanta VA now is planning additional vaccination opportunities for veterans, with the next even possibly happening at Braves Stadium in Marietta, Georgia. Ghim said that since dentists are authorized to help out, he’s ready to volunteer again if needed.