Prefab construction trend continues with VaxMod units
By Jenny LescohierFebruary 22, 2021
A new modular system to provide healthcare networks, governments and retailers with a safe and fast solution for administering the Covid-19 vaccine is on the way.
Appleton, Wisconsin-based contractor The Boldt Co. and architecture firm Boulder Associates are bringing VaxMod to market as the nation’s infrastructure wrestles with distribution strategies for the Covid-19 vaccine.
Designed by Boulder Associates Inc. and built by The Boldt Company, the prefabricated, modular units are designed to be deployed in any location, provide safe and efficient vaccination settings for healthcare workers and individuals, and serve as a long-term space solution post-Covid.
Developed in collaboration with public health experts, VaxMod can deliver 39% more vaccines per hour with 7% fewer staff, compared to model vaccination clinics identified by the Centers for Disease Control, according to a release. VaxMod is designed for rapid deployment and to administer vaccinations to walk-in patients or individuals in their vehicles.
The system can be scaled to meet the volume needed in specific communities. The operation is estimated to vaccinate more than 1,100 patients per eight-hour shift and can be staffed using 27 full-time employees. Modules can function as free-standing units or be connected to each other with segregated spaces for healthcare workers and patients.
Modular (or prefabricated) construction is not a new concept, but technological improvements, economic demands, and changing mind-sets mean it is attracting an unprecedented wave of interest and investment. According to consulting firm McKinsey & Company, if it takes hold, it could give the construction industry a huge productivity boost and up to 20% in construction cost savings.
“Healthcare organizations are diverting resources into direct patient care, so our mission was to design an environment to make this process fast and efficient,” said Romano Nickerson, principal with Boulder Associates Inc. “Rather than converting gymnasiums or expo centers into vaccination clinics, VaxMod features an intentional workflow designed to minimize the time it takes to administer a shot safely and optimize the number of vaccines per shift.”
“Our experience in prefabrication means we can manufacture these facilities with better speed to market,” said Will Lichtig, executive vice president and chief of staff with The Boldt Company. “This allows us intense quality control, increased safety for our workforce, and the ability to meet an urgent need for healthcare organizations and our communities.”
In a post-pandemic setting, the VaxMod can be repurposed for a variety of uses. Space can be modified and used for rapid testing and screening for patient populations or annual flu clinics. Modules could also be used for health screening and maintenance clinics to fill a critical need in the care of chronic diabetic or cardiovascular patients.
“Continued use of the VaxMod after the Covid crisis can fill a critical gap in the continuum of healthcare and care coordination outside of hospitals and clinics,” said Nadia Raczek, a nurse in California and special consultant on the project.
Raczek adds that VaxMod can give patients more access to what they need to maintain their health in a chronic disease state, thereby lowering the rate of emergency department visits and hospital readmissions, and increasing their ability to thrive despite their disease state.
“Healthcare customers are challenging us to create alternative methodologies that provide quality design solutions, process efficiencies, and greater predictability,” said Zach Lauria, director of self-perform with The Boldt Company. “The prefabrication process for VaxMod produces consistent quality and increases the efficiency of labor on the job - both in the shop and the field.”