City, health department team up to test drive-thru clinics for use in emergencies

Jennifer Person, an emergency medical technician with Lawrence-Douglas County Fire and Medical, gets a flu shot from Dan Franke, also of the fire and medical team, Friday morning, Oct. 28, 2011. The Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department and the city of Lawrence teamed up to provide flu shots to city employees and their families in a drive-thru clinic setting at a fire station.

Jennifer Person, an emergency medical technician with Lawrence-Douglas County Fire and Medical, gets a flu shot from Dan Franke, also of the fire and medical team, Friday morning, Oct. 28, 2011. The Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department and the city of Lawrence teamed up to provide flu shots to city employees and their families in a drive-thru clinic setting at a fire station. by Mike Yoder

For the first time, the city of Lawrence and the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department have teamed to offer drive-thru flu shot clinics for city employees.

The clinics were offered in Fire Station 5 at 1911 Stewart Ave., and the immunizations were administered by paramedics.

It was all part of a drill to see if such clinics could be used in a public health emergency.

Health department spokeswoman Lisa Horn said during the H1N1 outbreak of 2009, fire and medical personnel had some interest in helping with the mass vaccination efforts. At the time, it was not feasible because they had never done one before.

“We decided to do it as a drill as part of the city’s annual employee flu clinic. It’s gone really well so far,” Horn said.

About 410 people have been vaccinated through clinics on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The last one will be Saturday morning.

“Certainly if we have another pandemic like H1N1, we need vaccinators and being able to use the paramedic skills as vaccinators is just fantastic,” she said.

Megan Gilliland, communications manager for the city, said they typically have between 400 and 500 people take advantage of flu shots offered through the city. She said they plan to survey the employees to see how the process went for them.

Gilliland said she thought it was an efficient process, especially for those working out in the field.

“It was very quick,” she said.

Tagged: Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department, flu shots

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