Region 8 Pulls Up for Drive Thorough Flu Shots

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -- It's a combination of being ready for what could happen and getting people ready for flu season.  Thousands of flu shots are being given out in the next few days in Arkansas free of charge through the Arkansas Department of Health.

On Thursday they offered flu shots inside the Convocation Center and outside in the parking lot at the Red Wolves Baseball Stadium. 

"I think that's very convenient.  People don't have to go in and out.  They're in a hurry.  America's in a hurry," said Marshall Hicks.

For the most part we are a drive through nation.  We have drive through food, drive through pharmacies and now drive through flu shots.

"The people are able to just come through without getting out of their cars and get this done in a very timely manner," said ASU Nursing Student Rachael Miller.

Some people came by themselves to the clinic, while others brought large groups of people.

"We've had cars pull up with six or seven people inside of it who are opening doors and coming out of windows.  We even had someone come up in the back of a pickup truck and have us give them the immunizations in the back of the pickup truck," said Miller.

"People like me, they don't have much time and you get it over with," said Jim Bratton.

In fact, Amy Howell of the Craighead County Health Unit said this is the fastest they've ever given out this many flu shots.  They started out at 7 a.m. and were out of the vaccination by 1 p.m.

"It gives the nurses and the nursing students here an opportunity to practice giving immunizations really quickly and one after another," said Miller.

This specific event started last year aimed at preparing health professionals and the public on what could

be necessary during a pandemic or other emergency and Howell said the drive through method is the most effective way to quickly inoculate a lot of people.  Shots were also available inside, but for many the drive through method is preferred.

2,500 shots were given out in a six hour period and they did have to turn some people away when they ran out.

The free flu shot clinic in Jonesboro is over, but you can still get a flu shot at the Craighead County Health Unit.