Flu shots offered in comfort of your car

Wednesday, December 12, 2001

JACKSON, Mo. -- The Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center hopes to steer people to get flu shots the way many get hamburgers and do their banking: with a drive-through clinic.

People can get vaccinated without getting out of their cars in the county's first-ever drive-through clinic scheduled for 9 a.m. to noon today at the Jackson fire station at highways 25 and 61. A $10 donation will be requested from those who do not have Medicaid or Medicare, the same amount that has been asked for at the county's walk-in flu clinics.

"They just get a shot in the arm," said Brad Golden, Jackson's fire chief, who came up with the idea.

Golden said the drive-through clinic is open to everyone regardless of whether they are Cape Girardeau County residents but should appeal particularly to the elderly. "It is difficult for the elderly to stand in line and get out in the damp, cold weather," he said.

Those wanting flu shots will be directed to drive into the fire station's large bay, where they will be vaccinated and given winter weather information. They can then drive out the other end of the bay.

Golden said he hopes the drive-through clinic will be held annually.

Charlotte Craig, who directs the county health department, and two other members of her staff will give the shots.

The health center received 3,000 doses of flu vaccine in late November. Since then, health center nurses have vaccinated about 2,200 people. Craig said her department has about 800 doses left.

The health center originally ordered 6,000 doses, but Craig cut the order in half because of delays in shipment. Craig said many area residents already had obtained flu shots at medical offices and other sites.

Health officials have said flu vaccines can be effective when given as late as December.

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