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Drive-through flu shot clinic is Saturday

Event provides opportunity to inoculate hundreds

September 18, 2011
By SANDY MICKELSON, Messenger staff writer , Messenger News

Saturday's drive-through flu clinic at the Webster County Health Department is as much a training session as it is a way to inoculate hundreds of people quickly.

Hours are 9 to 11 a.m. at the health department, 330 First Ave. N.

"In reality, it's to test our point of distribution policy for our bio-terrorism and emergency planning in the event we'll need to vaccinate mass amounts of people at a single time," said Kari Prescott, executive director of the health department. "It's really to test all of our emergency planning."

Prescott said this is the third drive-through flu shot clinic. Two years ago, almost 600 people were inoculated, but last year the number dropped to 370.

"Last year, it was a torrential rain," she said. "We'll do it, rain or shine."

An area in the parking lot will be set up as a waiting area.

Fact Box

If you go:

WHO: Webster County Health Department.

WHAT: Drive-through flu shot clinic for people 13 and older.

WHEN: 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday.

WHERE: Health Department, 330 First Ave. S.

SHOTS cost $20 or $30 for high-dose shots for anyone 65 or older. Title 19 and Medicare may be used.

INFORMATION is available by calling 573-4107.

IMMUNIZATION CLINIC for children will be Sept. 27. Arrangements may be made by calling 573-4107.

"We're required to have a holding area for anybody getting a shot for the first time," Prescott said.

First-timers must stay in their car for a set time for nurses to make certain there will be no reaction.

"Our clinic is for 13-year-olds and older," Prescott said. "In the event somebody wants their 5- or 6-year-old vaccinated, they can call the health department, and we can set them up at a child health immunization clinic. We run those clinics every other Tuesday."

The next child immunization clinic will be Sept. 27 at the health department. That may be set up by calling 573-4107.

Prescott said the health department has contacted the Fire Department and Police Department to tell them about the clinic and is working with the Community Emergency Response Team.

"Our CERT team will be directing traffic," she said. "If people are coming, we ask them to use their blinker to tell us they're coming into the clinic. They will be placed in file in the order they arrive. If they use their blinker, that will tell our people they're coming and we'll get them off the street as quickly as possible."

There will be nine nurses, nine registration staff, three incident commanders and nine CERT workers at the clinic.

Close to 1,000 doses of vaccine are available, Prescott said. Vaccines are good against the A, B and H1N1 flu strains.

"We don't recommend getting a flu shot if you've had a fever in the last 24 hours," Prescott said. "For other underlying health conditions, check with your doctor first. If you have an allergic reaction to eggs, you cannot take the vaccine."

The average flu shot contains 45 micrograms, she said. A high-dose shot is available for seniors 65 and older that contains 60 micrograms.

Flu shots cost $20, but Title 19 and Medicare will be accepted. Prescott said it is a good idea to have cash ready and checks or paperwork made out in advance. Also, the high dose for seniors costs $30.

"The high dose strengthens the immune response," she said. "When you age, your immune system weakens. It contains hemagglutinin, which boosts your immune system."

Prescott said the drive-through clinic is "a community of convenience. We thought this is a convenient way - you stick your arm out the window and get a shot."

Contact Sandy Mickelson at (515) 573-2141 or



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