Health department to hold drive-through flu shot clinic Oct. 14

Published 4:02pm Thursday, October 6, 2011

By CAROLYN MASCHKE

Southwest Georgia Public Health

When the Decatur County Health Department holds its fourth annual drive-through flu shot clinic on Oct. 14, it won’t just be offering residents protection against seasonal influenza. It will also be testing its ability to swiftly, efficiently dispense medicines during a Public Health emergency, said Decatur County Health Department Manager Sherry Hutchins.

“Emergency preparedness is part of our mission,” Hutchins said. “We work with local, state, regional and federal partners to be prepared for a mass-exposure event like a bioterrorism attack, a disaster or an influenza pandemic when public gatherings will be discouraged or prohibited. But emergency preparedness and response planning can only take you so far. We also exercise our plans. The flu shot clinic gives us an opportunity to test our plan and look for ways to improve it.”

The health department will offer flu shots from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the parking lot of the Kirbo Center at Bainbridge College, which is accessible from the college’s Shotwell Street entrance. Only flu shots will be administered and they will cost $25.

The health department accepts cash, checks, Medicaid and Medicare, and United Healthcare and Cigna. To help speed the process, patient forms can be filled out beforehand. They will be available at the health department and in the Bainbridge-Post Searchlight.

“Forms will also be available the day of the event for those who don’t have one,” Hutchins said. “Workers will be available to assist anyone with questions about the forms.”

The health department’s partners in the drive-thru clinic include the Decatur County Emergency Management Agency, Decatur County Fire Department, Bainbridge Public Safety, Decatur County Sheriff’s Department, Bainbridge College RN Program, Decatur County EMS and the Salvation Army.

“Our partners are a vital part of our ability to successfully respond to a Public Health emergency,” Hutchins said. “Decatur County is fortunate to have such a strong, professional team of emergency responders committed to working together to protect the health and safety of our community.”

For more information about the drive-through clinic, call the Decatur County Health Department at (229) 248-3055 or go online to www.southwestgeorgiapublichealth.org

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