SALISBURY — Last week more than 5,000 flu vaccinations were administered at Peninsula Regional Medical Center’s (PRMC) annual drive-thru clinic at Perdue Stadium.
“We really want to get as many people vaccinated now as possible in front of the flu season,” said PRMC Community Relations Director Roger Follebout.
For those who did take advantage of PRMC’s 18th annual drive-thru vaccination clinic, Follebout confirmed that the 5,156 participants logged keeps with the hospital’s yearly average, which is usually between 5,000 and 6,000. Asked why the two-day clinic is so popular, Follebout explained that being able to get a flu vaccination without leaving your car is convenient enough to bring in almost anyone.
“It’s quick, convenient, and easy,” he said, adding that even during the busiest portions of the day cars were not waiting more than 15 minutes.
The clinic has been operating in the parking lot of Perdue Stadium in Salisbury since 2005. Before that, the drive-thru was held in PRMC’s own parking lot but the popularity of the event quickly outgrew that venue, according to Follebout.
“This is, by far, our biggest community event,” he said.
Besides being quick and easy, the drive-thru is also inexpensive, with PRMC only asking recipients of the vaccination for a $10 donation. In the event that someone is unable to pay, the shot will still be administered, said Follebout, who pointed out that having as many people as possible vaccinated helps keep hospital numbers down when flu season really begins to roll come winter.
While the flu tends to hit the elderly and the very young the hardest, Follebout stressed that getting vaccinated is important for everyone.
“We see all ages, male and female … the flu attacks anyone,” he said.
One myth that Follebout admitted kept some people from getting vaccinated is that a flu shot has a small chance of actually giving you the flu. PRMC Infection Preventionist Karen Mihalik asserted that is simply not true.
“The flu shot will never give you the flu,” she said.
Mihalik explained that the type of vaccination PRMC uses for the clinic incorporates three different forms of the flu virus but that all samples are completely inactive.
For more information about the clinic, which is hosted for two days every October, or for additional information on flu vaccinations, call 410-543-7137 or 1-800-955-PRMC.