Residents line up for drive-through flu shots

Wednesday, October 8, 2003

With their motors running, more than 200 residents waited Tuesday to receive their flu shots before driving down the road.

The Jackson Fire Department's drive-through flu vaccination program has become quite popular in its three years of existence. Two hundred and 28 people took advantage of the service Tuesday, up from about 200 last year and less than 100 the year before that.

The Cape Girardeau County Transit Authority also chipped in with the service, giving free rides to senior citizens who wanted to get their flu and pneumonia shots.

The drive-through began at 9 a.m., but there were cars waiting in the fire department parking lot at 8:30 a.m. A steady stream of cars continued throughout the day.

"We're just as easy as McDonald's," public nurse Jari Southard told a fast-flu customer.

The flu shots cost $15 and the pneumonia shots cost $20, but Southard said Medicaid and Medicare pay for the shots.

"I think it's great; we've had a really good response," Southard said. "It's the third year now, so people are looking for it. We're getting more and more each year."

Jackson fire chief Brad Golden came up with the idea. He thought the fire truck garage would be a good place to have a drive-through service.

The idea recently earned the Jackson Fire Department an award from the International Association of Fire Chiefs. The department was one of seven finalists for an award of excellence. Drive-in flu was one of 49 entries from around the world, Golden said.

The event also gives the fire department a chance to hand out fire prevention fliers and build community relations, said Steve Baugh, the public information officer for the fire department.

Southard said the health department enjoys doing the drive-through because it helps seniors who have difficulty getting out and around.

bmiller@semissourian.com

243-6635

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