Drive-thru flu shot clinic successful

By Candy Neal/The Herald
The Dubois County Health Department held a drive-thru clinic Friday where seniors could receive flu shots.


JASPER — Dozens of seniors received flu shots at the Dubois County Health Department’s drive-thru clinic Friday morning.

It’s possible there may be other drive-thru clinics this season.

“This went very well,” said Shawn Werner, administrative director for the health department. “We’re probably going to do more in the future, since this was such a good turnout. We’ll assess the need for that.”

Friday’s clinic ran from 8:30 a.m. to noon. While people waited in their vehicles, a worker came to their window to complete check-in information. After that, a nurse came to their window to dispense the shot. Werner directed traffic into the clinic. All workers wore protective gear, including masks.

“We offered it this way for 65 and older, high dose only, so we could keep them safe,” Werner said. “It was more convenient because they did not have to come inside the building. They didn’t even have to get out of their vehicle.”

Many seniors came out for the service. “People started coming and getting in line at 7:30 a.m., and we didn’t start until 8:30 a.m.,” Werner said. “Some people were waiting in line 35 or 45 minutes. The line was all the way down past the soccer field.”

There were a couple of computer glitches at the beginning, but those were fixed and the clinic progressed smoothly. “We finally got them rolling. And it stayed busy, which is what we wanted,” Werner said.

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat and sometimes the lungs. Common symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, muscle and body aches, and fatigue. The flu can cause mild to severe illness, and at times, can lead to death. The best way to prevent flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year.

The flu vaccine helps the body to develop antibodies against the seasonal virus, so that a person is less likely to catch the flu.

Health officials advise everyone to get the flu vaccine. But it is especially important for children younger than 5, adults older than 65, pregnant women, people living in long-term care facilities, smokers and people with certain medical conditions to get the vaccine to have a better chance of not catching the flu.

Along with getting the vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommends everyday preventive actions like staying away from people who are sick, covering coughs and sneezes, eating healthy, getting plenty of rest and frequently washing your hands. This will help slow the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses, like the flu, officials said.

While there aren’t any future drive-thru clinics scheduled yet, walk-in clinics will start on Sept. 21 at the health department, 1187 S. St. Charles St. in Jasper; those will be from 8 to 11 a.m. and from 1 to 3 p.m. Pediatric vaccinations will start Oct. 1.

“We typically start flu clinics around mid- to late September,” Werner said. “But we wanted to try and get the seniors taken care of since they are a high-risk population.”

Most insurance plans and Medicare Part B cover flu vaccines as preventative health, and the health department will submit claims to patrons’ insurance companies. Insurance cards must be presented at the time of service. Those without insurance will still be able to receive the vaccine for a fee. Call 812-481-7056 for more information.

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