Drive-through real shot in arm

Thursday, December 13, 2001

JACKSON, Mo. -- Little wonder someone would come up with the idea for a drive-through shot clinic in an area where everything from chewing gum to prescription drugs is dispensed through a window.

For 90 local people who received flu vaccinations while sitting in their cars Wednesday morning, it was the best idea they'd seen in a long time.

Employees of the Cape Girardeau County Health Department held the clinic in one of the open bays at the Jackson Fire Department for three hours.

Pamela Barnes of Jackson, who drove through with her 9-month-old twins, Matthew and Emma, said the clinic was a wonderful idea because it meant one less time she had to get the babies in and out of the minivan.

"We were out running errands, and I thought I'd just pop in and get it done," she said. "I've never had a shot in a drive-through, and I never thought they could do it this quickly."

Barnes was in and out in less than five minutes.

Rita Ostendorf and her husband, Don Ostendorf, of Scott City said they usually get flu shots every year at the doctor's office or a local clinic, but they couldn't pass up the convenience of a drive-through.

"It's quicker than going to the doctor," said Rita Ostendorf. "You can't beat that."

People who missed the drive-through clinic can still get the shots for the same $10 donation at the County Public Health Center at 1121 Linden in Cape Girardeau. There are still about 600 shots available, and the center will bill Medicaid or Medicare for those who qualify.

When Jackson fire chief Brad Golden thought of the idea for the clinic, he expected most of the patients to be elderly, he said. When the cars started lining up outside the bay, Golden was surprised to see the number of people who came through with their kids.

"A nice, dry, open bay makes it a little easier for getting out in the winter," he said.

Charlotte Craig, health department director, said the turnout was higher than expected for the first-year program.

"We're certainly going to repeat the clinic next year and hope it gets even bigger," she said.

hkronmueller@semissourian.com

335-6611 extension 128

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