Logistics set for drive-through vaccination event at Great Smoky Mountains Expo Center

A drive-through vaccination event will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Great Smoky Mountains Expo Center in White Pine.

The logistics have been set for the largest vaccination event in the history of Hamblen County.

The drive-through event will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Great Smoky Mountains Expo Center in White Pine.

Chris Bell, director of the Hamblen County Emergency Agency, said the hope is things will go smoothly as people enter the Expo Center in their cars to drive through and get their shots.

“We tried to simplify it,” he said.

As drivers enter the center, there will be a credential checkpoint set up.

“It will be a credential check to make sure you’re in the right category,” he said.

Those who are eligible to get vaccinated are anyone 65 and older, all educators and staff, all healthcare workers and those associated with healthcare and all first responders.

Bell stressed that anyone showing up to the event provide some type of credentials or identification showing they fit in one of those categories or they will be turned away. These need to include proof of age and/or proof of employment at a school or daycare.

He also stressed another point.

“We’re asking no one to show up before 8 a.m.,” he said.

He said if anyone shows up before that time it could create safety concerns.

There will be three lines available for people to drive through. He said there will be paperwork to fill out and he said filling out the paperwork correctly will save time.

“If everything is correct, it will greatly speed up the process,” he said.

After receiving the COVID-19 vaccination, there will be a waiting area for safety purposes. Those who get vaccinated must wait 15 minutes to make sure there is no allergic reactions. For those deemed a possible risk, there will be a 30 minute wait.

The event will be all first doses of the vaccine. There will be no second doses.

There will be a limited supply of vaccine and it will be provided on a first come, first serve basis until the vaccines are exhausted, the health department said.

The expo center is located at 1615 Pavilion Dr. in White Pine.