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New Arizona drive-thru indoor vaccine site properly ventilated to handle cars

Dexcom distribution center in Mesa near Loop 202 and Power Road.(KTAR News photo /Griselda Zetino)

PHOENIX — Arizona’s first indoor drive-thru COVID-19 mass vaccination site has proper ventilation to handle hundreds of cars that will idle inside each day, according to facility officials.

The new site is located inside a Dexcom distribution center in Mesa near Loop 202 and Power Road. It opened to the public Monday as rising temperatures in the Valley forces COVID-19 vaccination efforts inside.

James Kasselmann, general manager of Dexcom’s Mesa operations, said proper ventilation “was the first topic that we knew we needed to tackle.”

“We have forced air coming down from the ceiling,” he explained during a press conference Monday. “We have the blowers going out. We’ve created a positive pressure that pushes through this vehicle space.”

Kasselmann added they did several run-throughs before vaccinations began Monday and said “everything ran flawlessly.”

Speaking with KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News on Monday, Health Director Dr. Cara Christ also stressed the site was properly ventilated and able to keep vehicles safely inside during the 15-minute post-immunization observation period without fear of emission buildup.

She added some vehicles would be moved outside for the last few minutes of the waiting period if there were too many vehicles inside at one time.

The Dexcom site replaces the one at Chandler-Gilbert Community College, which closed for vaccinations Saturday. The new location can handle up to 4,000 vaccine appointments per day, seven days a week.

Eventually, it could increase capacity to 12,000 appointments daily.

For Arizona vaccine information, visit azdhs.gov/findvaccine.

For all articles, information and updates on the coronavirus from KTAR News, visit ktar.com/coronavirus.

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