Drive-thru event offers free flu shots
By Kaley Conner
Sept. 27, 2016
Hays Daily News
Hays Medical Center’s annual drive-thru flu shot clinic has been scheduled for Oct. 16. The event, which will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., will offer free flu shots for all residents older than 6 months.
It will be the 18th year the hospital has offered the community service, and approximately 3,500 people are expected to be vaccinated during the free clinic.
“It’s a service we’ve provided for so many years, it’s almost become part of a tradition every fall,” said Kim Koerner, infection prevention and associate health nurse at HaysMed. “We all enjoy doing it, and it keeps us healthy.”
Adults wanting to receive a free flu shot can get one without having to leave their vehicles. HaysMed volunteers will direct traffic during the event, and the maximum wait time is estimated at 15 minutes, Koerner said, noting it is not necessary for vehicles to line up prior to the 9 a.m. start time.
Children older than 6 months will be vaccinated inside the gym at the Center for Health Improvement. Adults attending with children also can receive their shots inside the waiting area of Hays Orthopedic Institute, located inside the CHI building.
More than 100 volunteers will be on hand to help with the event. HaysMed partners with Fort Hays State University’s nursing department to give students clinical experience.
The only change from last year’s event is the nasal flu vaccine is not available, Koerner said, noting it was removed due to doubts about its effectiveness.
The event is sponsored by the Hays Medical Center Foundation. While there is no cost for flu shots, participants are asked to bring a canned food item to benefit the Community Assistance Center.
“It’s been a good service for the community, and it gives us a chance to provide a service they might not otherwise have an opportunity to get,” Koerner said. “It’s a good way for us to get involved and help out in the community.”
The vaccine also is available at HaysMed clinics for patients who are unable to attend the drive-thru flu shot event. Charges will apply at regular clinic visits, though the vaccine is covered by most health insurance policies.