Tuesday, March 18, 2008

As Easy As McDonalds: Drive-Through Flu Clinics Offer One-Stop Shots

Pat Krehn, Immunization, Muskegon County Health Department, 209 E. Apple Ave. Muskegon, MI 49442, Muskegon, MI, USA

Learning Objectives for this Presentation:
By the end of the presentation participants will be able to:
1. Identify barriers to influenza immunization especially for the special needs population
2. Describe a unique approach to flu immunization clinics
3. Develop a plan to implement a drive-through flu clinic for the general public and the special needs population

Influenza remains a major public health threat, causing 36,000 deaths and over 200,000 hospitalizations annually, and while 220 million people (73% of population) are recommended for annual flu vaccine, fewer than 100 million people get vaccinated. According to the Standards for Adult Immunization Practices, barriers to receiving vaccines must be identified and minimized, and healthcare providers are encouraged to develop strategies to enhance influenza vaccination. Studies have demonstrated the importance of removing barriers to vaccination, such as cost and convenience. Drive-through immunization clinics offer a great solution.

Parking lot or other area where traffic may wait safely

Community residents of all ages, especially those with special needs

Project Description:
The Muskegon County Health Department has been offering influenza and pneumonia shots through the drive-through clinic since 2000. Clients with special needs such as difficult mobility, oxygen use and compromised immune systems find the drive-through clinic very helpful. The drive-through clinic is a team effort, and there are people involved in all aspects of the clinic, from traffic control to media outreach (local news is usually there to film people getting immunized), to helping with paperwork as well as administering the vaccines.

Results/Lessons Learned:
Attendance at the drive-through clinic has increased over the years. Our residents with disabilities have expressed significant appreciation for this service. The clinic runs smoothly and staff is pleased to be involved in this service. When members of the community can receive the flu vaccine without even stepping foot outside of their vehicle, the convenience barrier is greatly improved.