Drive-Thru Flu Shots Available Saturday at No Cost to Community

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Courtesy of the MSU College of Human Medicine

The MSU College of Human Medicine has partnered with other organizations to operate a drive thru flu vaccination clinic at the Breslin Center’s parking lot 63 on Saturday, Oct. 3, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Flu vaccines are “available at no-cost to the community.”

According to Dr. Aron Sousa, Interim Dean of the College of Human Medicine, getting a flu shot this year will protect both individuals and our health system.

“The flu season lasts from fall through spring, and every year about 20,000-60,000 people die of influenza,” said Sousa. “That death rate is not nearly as big as the 200,000 people who have died of COVID-19 so far this year.”

A flu epidemic occurring at the same time as the COVID-19 pandemic, however, could pose serious problems for the community.

“A big flu year on top of COVID-19 would be devastating for our health care system,” continued Sousa. “You can get flu and COVID-19 at the same time, so we need to protect as many people as possible with the flu vaccine.”

Attendees to the drive-thru clinic must wear a mask and complete an online consent form, available in English, Arabic, Spanish, and Bengali. Children under 17 must have a consent form signed by a parent or guardian.

The clinic will administer a quadrivalent injectable flu vaccine, targeted for people age 4 and up. A limited number of vaccines will be available for children ages 1-3.

Along with the MSU College of Human Medicine, the event is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Alana’s Foundation, and the Visiting Nurse Association.

“When we were unable to hold our annual Teddy Bear Picnic and offer flu shots due to COVID-19 restrictions, our partners collaborated with us to find an alternative way to offer these vitally important immunizations to the community,” said Niki Lechner, events and initiatives manager for the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine.

The Teddy Bear Picnic is an annual event that aims to alleviate the fears children have of going to the doctor by encouraging them to bring a favorite stuffed animal along for its own check-up.

“Our drive-thru flu shot clinic is a great example of cooperative effort to achieve an outcome greater than any one of us could do alone,” said Lechner.

Those with questions can contact Lechner at lechnern@msu.edu or (616) 498-3700.

(Disclosure: Sousa is the spouse of Alice Dreger, ELi’s Executive Director and Publisher.)

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