The services will be the same but the location will be different at this year’s drive-through flu-shot clinic sponsored by St. Rose Ambulatory & Surgery Center. The clinic is going back to its roots after a few years at the Great Bend Library parking lot.
Free flu vaccines will be available for up to 400 people from 8-11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 27 at St. Rose. Motorists are asked to enter the parking area from Forest Street.
“We will direct them to the right location in the ambulance bay,” said Gloria Siefkes, R.N. “We want to make this as convenient as possible, and encourage people to be vaccinated before the busy holiday season.”
Only those 18 and older may participate. Short sleeves are recommended and anyone who wants to complete the short consent form in advance may visit the St. Rose website, www.stroseasc.org. The form will be available at the event, as well.
“The community may also want to know that we usually have a rush at 8 a.m. at the drive-through clinic,” Siefkes noted. “So, it may go faster if they come a little later in the morning.”
Ten St. Rose employees will volunteer their time at the clinic. And although the vaccinations are free, goodwill donations will be accepted. The St. Rose Foundation, Dominican Sisters and a $2,000 grant from the Golden Belt Community Foundation are paying for the vaccines.
“We are tremendously gratified by the Golden Belt Community Foundation grant,” said Mark Mingenback, St. Rose director of business strategy and marketing. “St. Rose and the Foundation are always looking for ways to create a healthier community and this is one of those ways.
“In addition,” he noted, “we have always been able to count on the Dominican Sisters and the donors to our St. Rose Foundation. We appreciate them coming through for us again.”
Siefkes outlined some facts and the reasons a flu shot is strongly encouraged.
Influenza is caused by a virus and can be spread by coughing, sneezing or nasal secretions. Symptoms are fever, chills, cough, sore throat, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, and runny or stuffy nose.
“Those who have just a little case of the sniffles may get a flu shot,” Siefkes said. “But if they have a fever or other symptoms they should wait until they feel better.”
The flu can last several days to more than a week, and a complete recovery can be expected. However, Siefkes noted, complications may lead to pneumonia or death.
“This virus can be especially serious for the elderly and people with diabetes, or heart, lung or kidney disease,” the registered nurse explained. “It is important to understand that the vaccine cannot give you the flu because the vaccine is made from dead viruses.”
Those considering a flu shot should consult a doctor if they are allergic to eggs, or chicken feathers or dander; have a history of Guillian-Barre Syndrome; are allergic to gentamiacin; have received another type of vaccine in the last 14 days; or are taking chemotherapy, radiation therapy or non-inhaled steroids.
St. Rose clinic patients may get their flu shots for a fee at Great Bend Internists and St. Joseph Family Medicine. Some children may qualify for free vaccines at St. Joseph.