Drive-thru flu shot clinic provides special practice for health workers

Drive-thru flu shot clinic provides special practice for health workers

MCINTOSH COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - The drive-thru flu shot clinic was held outside the McIntosh County Health Department on Thursday.

People moving through the parking lot like an assembly line, filling out paperwork, then sticking their arm out the window for the vaccine.

"We see people starting early in McIntosh County and throughout the Coastal Health District. We'll see them come in at the end of September,” Coastal Health District Immunization Coordinator Paige Lightsey said.

With each prick comes practice for the health staff. Practice for a much bigger emergency.

"A public health event would be something like we had back in 2001 with the anthrax scares,” Director of Emergency Preparedness Todd Wyckoff said.

But if there was ever an anthrax outbreak or something similar, the mobile clinic is how health workers would treat residents.

Wyckoff said keeping people inside their car to administer vaccines, is safer than having everyone in a school gym during an outbreak.

"If we do have somebody who's got an infection of some kind, we're not in personal contact with them,” he said.

The state health department has regular discussions about how to respond to mass health emergencies.

But knowing health workers put those talks into practice gives county residents, like Vic Waters, a peace of mind.

"I think it's a good deal. It's just like when we have a hurricane and they close off both sides of the interstate, you know, it's just a way for them to get everybody done at once,” Waters said.

After the drive-thru clinic, staff will go over what worked and what didn't to improve the response plan.

This is the last drive-thru flu shot clinic, but the Coastal Health District is still offering flu shots at county health departments.

Health staff say flu season starts later in Georgia but it’s better to get vaccinated now before the season begins.

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