COVID Mass Vaccination Design & Modeling


Maybe someone would like to help Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) with a systems problem. At the end of this email, I used Insightmaker sketched out a first draft design, but obviously needs a lot more work. There are probably many scenarios that would need to be run to find the bottlenecks and improve the design.


Here is the OHSU design image on their website.

They designed a mass vaccination site at the empty Portland Airport economy parking. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, 8 am to 7 am with multiple (not sure how many) appointments per time slot allowed online at 15 minute intervals. Many volunteers directing traffic and orange cones to guide people.

Load Like a Ferry - they loaded about 10 -16 vehicles in a lane

Waiting in Lanes. - 10-16 vehicles per lane were loaded starting with lanes 1 and lane 9, then a complete lane was released to register

Registration. - two registration stations in series with 4 lanes and then released when released into two lines.

All of this took place over acres of parking lot.

The article says they were doing 5,000 per day and then on Saturday 3/6 they allowed 5,800 appointments.

"Gridlock at PDX COVID vaccination site leaves people waiting hours for a shot

Updated Mar 06, 2021; Posted Mar 06, 2021"

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How much time do you have?
This looks more like a discrete event problem (first glance).
Like traffic back-ups, when there is a lot of variance in vehicle speeds the result is the ‘wave’ through traffic.

I am going to take a screen shot and see what I can do model-wise.

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Thank you for the response.

I don’t have any training in discrete event modeling, sorry.
I’m only a stock and flow observer.


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Hi Richard and Len,
Have you resolved/progressed this issue? If not, is there any way I can help?

I have done nothing since I don’t know how to program discrete models.
I am experienced with stock and flow models and have taught high school teachers how to teach their students about SD using STELLA.
I’m retired now and don’t have the motivation to learn discrete modeling.
Feel free to take this challenge and run with it…it’s not for me.