Atmore rolls up sleeves

Published 12:55 am Wednesday, October 29, 2008

By By MaryClaire Foster
Windows were rolled down and sleeves rolled up as eighteen-wheelers, ECATS vans and even bicycles joined the hundreds of motorists in line to get a flu shot Tuesday at Tom Byrne Park.
This was the second year the Escambia County Health Department offered a free, drive-thru flu shot service.
Ricky Elliott, assistant administrator for Escambia County Health Department, said the day was running smoothly and by 10 a.m. they had already equaled the amount of shots given last year.
Elliott was referring to the Health Department’s goal of vaccinating 1,000 people during the day.
In expectation of an increased number of participants, a lane was added to this year’s service, which Elliott said was helping people be vaccinated even faster than last year.
Last year, the average time from arrival to departure was between two and a half to five and half minutes.
The event is not only to serve the community but is practice for the Health Department’s emergency preparedness plan.
Plus, Elliott said he and his coworkers were looking forward to it.
Robert Skipper participated in last year’s event and returned this year.
People from the Red Cross, Coalition for a Healthier Escambia County, Atmore Community Hospital, Escambia County EMA, the Atmore Police Department and senior nursing students and supervisors from Jefferson Davis Community College helped to direct traffic, collect paperwork, handout information and administer shots.
The event is set up into four stations.
Driving in, participants receive a clip-board with forms, then they stop to fill them out and ask any questions, next they hand over their forms and receive the shots. Finally, they are asked how they are feeling and given information about flu-pandemic and mosquitoes.
Stephanie Gehman, a nursing student from JDCC, said they want to make sure that recipients are not having a reaction to the shot.
Elliott said they added information about mosquitoes because it was a good opportunity to raise awareness of the West Nile virus and preventing concentrations of mosquitoes.
The Health Department will host another drive-thru flu shot clinic in Brewton on Oct. 31 from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Escambia County Stockyard located off Highway 31 behind Southern Pine Electric Cooperative.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends annual influenza vaccination for the following persons:

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