A (flu) shot in the arm
A free drive-thru flu shot clinic outside the Woodford County Park’s Huffman Pavilion Oct. 28 saw 131 people get the vaccine – 46 of them children. Three-hundred adult and 50 pediatric doses were available, according to Woodford Public Health Director Cassie Prather. The event was organized by the Woodford County health, EMS and emergency management departments, with the vaccines provided and injected by the state Department of Public Health’s “flu crew.” Bobby Cairell, 43, said his family tries to get a flu shot every year, but acknowledged that the coronavirus was on his mind, too. “ … I think the biggest thing is just not having something (the flu) that mimics the symptoms of the coronavirus. …” Before driving off, he added, “Maybe this is a good test run for future vaccines and stuff.” Prather agreed on both counts. “This is our practice – this is our trial run,” she said. “We are encouraging everyone to get their flu shot (early) this year, because we don’t want to have a vaccine-preventable illness on top of COVID …” Having COVID-19 and the flu at the same time increases the chances of serious illness or death, and Wednesday’s event was the first of its kind in the county, Prather said. (Another free drive-thru flu vaccine event is set for Nov. 12 from noon to 4 p.m. at Midway Christian Church.) Prather said it’s especially important that senior citizens get the flu vaccine, as they suffer more complications from COVID-19. “It’s a high dose – a higher level of protection – because that’s what they need,” she added. This year’s vaccine protects against four different flu strands, Prather said. Another shoulder-barer was David Graves, 64, who said he’d gotten the flu vaccine every year for several years, but didn’t feel a more urgent need to do so this year. “ … My son is a doctor and he highly recommends that we do it …” he said. As for a vaccine for COVID-19, if it becomes available during the winter months, Prather said the health department plans to use the county park again. “ … And we’re already looking at ways we can offer it; instead of outside, we’re looking at bigger buildings, where we can actually pull through two lanes and be vaccinating on either side of one of those buildings,” she said.