Hundreds get seasonal flu shots in their cars -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Hundreds get seasonal flu shots in their cars

By Jade Bulecza - bio | email

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - Hundreds of people got flu shots in Valdosta on Tuesday without even getting out of their cars.

South Georgia Medical Center hosted its 13th annual drive thru clinic.

H1N1 is a major concern for many, but those shots aren't available yet.

This clinic was held to protect people against seasonal flu.

People showed up at the Morningside Baptist Church parking lot to get their seasonal flu shots.

"The seasonal flu vaccine is not as prevalent this year or they're slow to distribute it to us," said Cindy Lewis, SGMC Pharmacy Assistant Director. "So, this year we have only about 1,200 doses of the seasonal flu vaccine."

By noon, 700 people received their shot.

"I think it's foolish not to get the flu shot and I don't want to get sick we're going on a trip in December and I want to protect myself," said Judy Hinton, patient.

Each year the viruses most prevalent are used for next year's vaccine.

Health officials recommend everyone whose healthy get a seasonal flu vaccine. One shot protects you for one year.

If you're running a fever or have a severe illness you have to wait until you get well to get innoculated. Certain at-risk groups that could develop serious complications from having the flu are highly reccommended to get the vaccine, like those with chronic health conditions.

"Pregnant patients, young patients less than 6 months old or more than 65 are more at risk to get complications due to flu," said Dr. Simon Adames, Internal Medicine.

During the clinic, temperatures are taken, shots are given, blood pressure is checked, and tylenol is handed out. The total process takes 15 minutes. This gives them time to observe the patient in case an allergic reaction occurs.

 "We've started seeing cases of seasonal flu earlier this year as well as of course H1N1, so we did start immunizing a little earlier this year than we have in year's past," said Lewis. "We started in September."

The seasonal flu vaccine does not protect against H1N1. A separate vaccine must be taken.

Health officials hope next year the H1N1 and seasonal flu vaccines will be combined into one dose.

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