Drive-thru flu shot clinic is planned

PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIALS WILL SERVE AS LEAD COORDINATORS of a planned drive-thru flu shot clinic. Pictured, l-r, Peggy Connell (county nurse manager); Kristin Riggs (American Red Cross); and Jim Ellis (Grady County Emergency Management Agency director.

With the threat of the flu-like illness H1N1 looming mysteriously, local health officials want to protect Grady countians from at least the traditional flu virus with plans to also dispense shots for the new flu when they become available.
Public health, school, law enforcement and emergency officials met Thursday to plan for an upcoming drive-thru flu shot clinic. On Tuesday, Sept. 15, county health department employees will set up a clinic at Cairo High School, 4 p.m.-7 p.m., $20 per person.
“We are trying to increase the number of people who get flu shots,” said Peggy Connell, county nurse manager.
On the day of the clinic, those wanting shots may drive or ride in a car up to the nurses and get their shots without even getting out of the vehicle. The nurses can administer the shot through an open window or car door as long as the patient is wearing shirts that allow access to his or her upper arm.
Drivers will be asked to follow a specific route to ensure traffic flows smoothly. Vehicles will enter the campus through the teacher parking lot, drive in front of the school auditorium, then into the student parking lot and to the new gymnasium where the shots will be dispensed. Vehicles will then exit around the back of the school’s football stadium and to the north of campus.
“This is also an exercise for us in case we ever have to do mass dispensing in an emergency situation,” explains Mrs. Connell.
Getting a flu shot is important, especially this year, according to Connell, who says it is possible for people to get both flu and H1N1 at the same time. The shot protects the receiver for 8-12 months. If an H1N1 vaccination is approved later this fall, the Grady County Health Department will give those, as well.
Those attending the meeting included: Connell; Katrina VanLandingham (Grady County Health Department, administration office coordinator); Jim Ellis (Grady County Emergency Management Agency director); John White (Department of Family and Children Services); Giovannie Santos (Cairo Police Department); Ben Fuller (American Red Cross); Keith Sandefur (Cairo Police chief); Chloe Thomas (Cairo High School nurse); David McCurry (Cairo High School principal); Don Towne (Cairo Fire chief); Jerry Cox (Grady County Schools); Harry Young (Grady County sheriff); Billy Rathel (Grady County EMS director); Kristin Riggs (American Red Cross).

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