October 26, 2004
FLU SEASON: HEALTH DEPARTMENT, HOSPITALS
FOCUS ON THOSE MOST AT RISK
Charlotte, NC - With the nation’s flu vaccine supply essentially cut in half, health departments and healthcare providers alike are working to ensure that those at the highest risk of developing complications from the flu are protected.
For its part, the Mecklenburg County Health Department has set the dates, times and location for additional flu shot clinics. With the cooperation of the Coliseum Authority and MEDIC, Health Department staff will offer a drive-through flu shot clinic at the Charlotte Coliseum parking lot on the following dates, with additional dates and locations to be determined.
Drive-Through Clinic Date Time Location
Thursday, Oct. 28, 2004 9 a.m. Charlotte Coliseum
Sunday, Oct. 31, 2004 9 a.m. Charlotte Coliseum
Officers from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department will be on hand to provide security and traffic control. Parking lot gates will not open until 6 a.m. on the morning of the clinics. Persons eligible for the vaccination will be given a number and a parking assignment. The drive-through clinics will vaccinate approximately 1,500 on each day in order to evenly distribute the Health Department’s remaining supply of flu vaccine during the three days. Once the day’s capacity of 1,500 are allowed into the parking lot, cars will be turned away until the following clinic date.
“By conducting these clinics in this fashion and in such a large space, we hope to serve as many people as possible as quickly and comfortably as we can,” says health director Dr. Wynn Mabry.
To streamline the process even further, the Health Department is making available on its Web site,
www.meckhealth.org, all the paperwork necessary to get the shot. These forms may be printed off, filled out in advance and brought to the flu clinic.
Other information that will speed the process:
• Cars can only enter the Coliseum via the main entrance off Tyvola Road
• Gates will not open until 6 a.m. Thursday, October 28, 2004
• Each person eligible for the vaccine will be given a number until the numbers are exhausted.
• Once parked, cars should not leave the Coliseum lot
• Wear loose-fitting jackets, shirts or blouses that easily expose the upper arm.
Following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), healthcare providers may be vaccinating more staff in order to prevent them from spreading the flu to patients in their care. The Health Department flu clinics will focus only on providing the flu vaccine to those at highest risk for developing complications from the flu. Potential vaccinees will be asked to sign a statement verifying they fall into one of the high-risk groups eligible for the flu shot. Those high-risk groups include:
• Children aged 6-23 MONTHS
• Adults 65 and older
• Persons aged 2-64 years with underlying chronic medical conditions
• Women who will be pregnant during the influenza season
• Residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities
• Children aged 6 months-18 years on chronic aspirin therapy
• Health-care workers involved in direct patient care; and
• Out-of-home caregivers and household contacts of children aged less than 6 months.
HOTLINE: To make certain the public has the most up-to-date information on flu clinic dates or times, call the Mecklenburg County Health Department Flu Clinic Information Hotline at 704-336-4667.