4,000 free flu shots to be offered Sunday

County to set up temporary clinic at business park

November 02, 2007|by a Sun reporter

Howard County is offering up to 4,000 free flu inoculations from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday at a temporary clinic at Columbia's Gateway Business Park.

The shots are available to anyone, not just county residents, said Dr. Peter L. Beilenson, the county's health officer. No Flu-Mist spray will be used. The county plans to field 230 employees and volunteers, including police, firefighters and health officials in what will double as an emergency-preparedness exercise.

Anyone who misses the free shots but still wants to be immunized at other scheduled county clinics must pay $25, Beilenson said.

The reason the county is willing to foot the $40,000 bill for the shots, he said, is the hope that they will prevent young children and their parents from transmitting flu germs to more vulnerable older people, who often die of influenza. A state grant will pay up to $7,000.

To cut waiting time, which last year was about 90 minutes, the county has separate vaccination sites for adults and families.

Police will direct traffic around Gateway Drive in the Gateway Business Park, off Route 175 near Interstate 95, which usually is empty on Sundays. Vehicles with adults will be directed to a parking lot at a building containing eight vaccination stations.

Vehicles with families will be directed to another office building lot with 15 vaccination stations.

Information: 410 313-6503, or www.hchealth.org.

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