According to County Nurse Manager Cynthia Tidwell, the flu shots will be administered on a first-come, first-served basis in the parking lot of the Health Department, which is at 1007 Memorial Drive.
Patients will not have to leave their cars to receive their flu shots and are asked to enter from Harlow Avenue and to exit onto Memorial Drive. The entire procedure for each patient — from check-in to check-out — should not take longer than 15 minutes, Tidwell said.
Although the drill was purposefully scheduled for 9 a.m. to avoid interference with rush hour and school bus traffic, law enforcement will be controlling traffic for safety reasons.
Asked why local residents should participate in the first 24-hour immunization drill in the state, other than the flu shot being free, Tidwell said it’s a great opportunity to avoid becoming sick.
“It will help decrease the incidents of flu in our community,” she said. ”We want to keep as many people well as possible.”
As for the requirements to receive a free flu shot, aside from being a Spalding County resident, Tidwell said recipients must be at least 13 years old and can’t be sick at the time of the drill. Those who are allergic to eggs or suffer from Guillain-Barre syndrome are also advised not to get a flu shot, she added.
The Spalding County Health Department is conducting the drill with the assistance of the District 4 Preparedness Team and is partnering with numerous organizations and offices in both the city and the county.
“We are very excited about it. I think it’s going to be a great experience for our community,” said Tidwell, adding that the event will take place regardless of weather conditions. “We are doing it rain or shine.”