Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Drive through flu shots

Often I roll my eyes at our culture's demand for convenience. I could literally spend the entire day in my car - not getting out once - and still accomplish A LOT. A productive yet staionary day could look like this: drive through for coffee, drive through the bank, drive through the pharmacy, drive through for lunch, drive through the dry cleaners, drive through for a daiquiri (only in Louisiana), drive through the library book drop-off, and pick up dinner curb-side. Whether it's our increasing "drive" for cramming more into our already over-scheduled day or just sheer laziness, America has found a way to make almost everything quicker and more convenient.
And in an effort to stay active and have real interactions with human beings, I try and avoid the drive-through whenever I can (but it's so darn easy to simply drive through when I need a diet coke). 
But there is a drive-through initiative that I can support: drive through flu shots! That is one cause that really is better when made easier!
Face it, no one wants to get their flu shot. Sure they want to be healthy and stay healthy, but a needle in the arm? No thanks. So in an effort to make this less-than-desirable task easier, many groups have worked towards making this less of a hassle and more of a convenience.
Most of us have been to the grocery store when it's announced that flu shots are available near the pharmacy, but now there isn't even a need to get out of your car!  
I first heard about this in my own community. Our county's health board is offering flu shots for a minimal fee at a nearby park. All they ask is that you wear short-sleeves so that your shot can be administered with your window rolled down as you remain seated in your car. Can you believe this? 
I then googled "drive through flu shots," and found that this is a nationwide trend. "Clinics" are popping up all around the country. Many of these clinics offer free shots to individuals on Medicare and Medicaid stating that no one will be turned away for the inability to pay. Wow - how awesome. Efficient and cost-effective! 
If you are interested in driving through for your flu shot, I encourage you to google "drive through flu shots" and the name of your city. 
Because I would feel guilty if I wasn't completely honest, I must admit that I never get a flu shot. I might get a cold a couple of times a year, but that's about it. I have my reasons for not getting the shot, but I'm not a physician, so this certainly isn't my recommendation. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, it is recommend that most people get a flu shot, especially people over 50, children ages 6 months and older, and women who are pregnant. For a complete list of Who Should Get Vaccinated and Who Should Not Be Vaccinated, check out the CDC's website
I should also note that there is now a nasal-spray flu vaccine available and is approved for use in healthy people 2-49 years of age who are not pregnant. To my knowledge, FluMist is not available at drive-through clinics, and usually FluMist is only offered per request at your doctor's office.

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