The Liberty County Health Department will host a drive-through flu-vaccination clinic from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 17, at Shuman Recreation Center, 800 Tupelo Trail (behind the health department) in Hinesville.
Flu shots will be available for $29. High-dose flu vaccine, offered for people 65 and older, will be $50. The event aims to provide a quick, easy way for residents to get vaccinated against the flu and to test public health emergency preparedness and response procedures.
Liberty County is one of several Coastal Health District counties hosting a drive-through vaccination clinic that day as part of a statewide exercise by the Georgia Department of Public Health. Several partner agencies, including the Liberty County Emergency Management Agency, Liberty Regional EMS, Hinesville Police Department, American Red Cross and Liberty County Recreation Department will also take part in the event.
“Getting vaccinated is the best protection against the flu, and there is no more-convenient way to get vaccinated than never having to leave your own vehicle,” said Coastal Health District Health Director Diane Weems, MD. “We are also using this clinic as a way to assess public health’s ability to quickly provide medication should it become necessary during a real world event.”
Public health — through local health departments — is responsible for providing vaccine or other medication to the public in response to large-scale public-health emergencies and other disasters. If such an event were to take place, the drive-through method of dispensing medication would likely be used.
“We are always in preparation mode,” Weems said. “It just makes sense to test that preparation during flu season, when we can make it easy for people to get vaccinated.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone age 6 months and older receive a yearly flu vaccine.
On average, more than 200,000 people in the United States are hospitalized each year for illnesses associated with seasonal influenza-virus infections, and it is estimated that more than 36,000 Americans die each year from influenza-related illness.
The flu virus is easily spread through coughs and sneezes and by touching something with the virus on it, and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
Cash and checks will be accepted at the drive-thru clinic. The following insurance will also be accepted: Aetna, Cigna, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Coventry. Medicare and Medicaid will also be accepted.
To save time, residents are encouraged to download the flu-vaccine consent form at gachd.org/liberty and bring the completed form with them to the clinic.
For more information on the flu or flu vaccine, go to cdc.gov/flu.