A study published in the Journal of Emergency Management hopes to set the record straight on the dangers, or lack thereof, of holding large scale drive-thru flu clinics.
Pictured above, Dr. Ruth Carrico, PhD, RN, FSHEA, CIC, associate professor, division of infectious diseases, University of Louisville School of Medicine, stated that the risks of passing out and causing a crash have prevented many communities from implementing drive-thru flu shot clinics. However, after looking at the facts, this just simply isn’t the case.
She and fellow UofL faculty W. Paul McKinney, MD, FACP, Timothy Wiemkan, PhD, MPH, CIC and John Myers, PhD, MSPH reviewed several sources of data and have shown that the fears surrounding drive-thru clinics are unfounded. The drive-thru clinics have been going on at UofL Hospital since 1995. No adverse events could be linked to the drive-thru clinics after combing through several sources including the vaccine adverse event reporting system, court cases, healthcare risk management databases, MEDLINE, and communication with vaccine experts. As a matter of fact, Carrico is quoted saying, ““We found a person’s chance of fainting during a drive-thru vaccination is less than the probability of being struck by lightning”.
This summer Dr. Carrico plans to release a public toolkit which will inform communities on how to build a drive-thru clinic of their own. She hopes that this will “increase the capacity and infrastructure of the nation to administer immunization or other emergency countermeasures quickly, efficiently and safely”. The toolkit will soon be available at www.publichealthtools.com.
Dr. Carrico recently received the Carole DeMille Achievement Award from the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology. According to the APIC website, this is the highest award given “to an infection preventionist (IP) who best exemplifies the ideals of Carole DeMille, a pioneer in the field.” I am proud to say this groundbreaking work has been done right in my home state. Hopefully, this research will embolden other communities to become better prepared and not be held back by an unfounded fear.