The Southwest Utah Public Health Department is practicing their emergency response plans by offering flu shots this season. Anyone over the age of 18 in Washington, Iron, Beaver, Kane and Garfield Counties can get their shot without even getting out of the car.
“We get to exercise what it would look like if there was a true emergency,” said Doctor David Blodgett, the Director of SUPHD.
This system of inoculation was initially tested by the H1N1 strain of the flu in 2010 when the SUPHD used nearly 8,000 shots in one day.
As vehicles pull into the parking lot, greeters guide drivers into one of three lanes designated for drive-thru vaccinations. The whole process is as quick as five minutes but averages closer to 15 minutes.
Dr. Blodgett anticipates that during the five hours that the drive-thru will be open, they will administer over 1,000 flu shots.
While not everyone needs a yearly flu shot, Dr. Blodgett recommends that those in high-risk groups should get a flu shot. These people include children, the elderly and anyone with an immune-compromised system.
To help speed up the process SUPHD officials recommend downloading the consent form before coming to the drive-thru and wearing a short-sleeved shirt. While the flu shot is free for most people with insurance, those without will be charged $20 payable by cash, check or credit card.
For a full list of locations in the five counties, visit SUPHD’s website. Flu shots are available at any of the health department clinics during regular business hours if the drive-thru opportunity is missed.
Story by: Benjamin Pollchik
Photo courtesy of: Unsplash.com