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Drive-through flu clinics offered in Rockdale, Newton

The health departments in Newton and Rockdale counties are hosting two drive-through flu clinics this year in which free flu shots will be offered to the first 500 people. The shots will be provided to people 6 months of age or older. The Newton County clinic is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14 in the Walmart parking lot at 10300 Industrial Blvd., Covington. The Rockdale clinic is set from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28 in the parking lot of the Rockdale County Health Department, 985 Taylor St. S.W., Conyers. Special Photo.

The health departments in Newton and Rockdale counties are hosting two drive-through flu clinics this year in which free flu shots will be offered to the first 500 people. The shots will be provided to people 6 months of age or older. The Newton County clinic is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14 in the Walmart parking lot at 10300 Industrial Blvd., Covington. The Rockdale clinic is set from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28 in the parking lot of the Rockdale County Health Department, 985 Taylor St. S.W., Conyers. Special Photo.

COVINGTON -- Residents of Rockdale and Newton counties can get a flu shot this year just by driving up, rolling down their car window and rolling up their sleeve.

The health departments in Newton and Rockdale counties are hosting two drive-through flu clinics this year in which free flu shots will be offered to the first 500 people. The shots will be provided to people 6 months of age or older.

According to Dorothy Jubon with the emergency preparedness division of the Gwinnett, Newton and Rockdale County Health Departments, the drive-through clinics are designed to test the organization and efficiency of their emergency vaccination procedures. The flu shots are offered as a way to get a real-world test of the procedures, she said.

Lloyd Hofer, district health director for GNR Health Departments, said the drive-through clinics are necessary in order to prepare for potential widespread emergencies.

"Not only are we vaccinating the community from the seasonal flu, but we are using this as a great opportunity to exercise our ability to quickly and efficiently administer vaccinations to the public in the event of a widespread public health crisis, such as pandemic influenza," Hofer said.

The Newton County clinic is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14 in the Walmart parking lot at 10300 Industrial Blvd., Covington. The Rockdale clinic is set from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28 in the parking lot of the Rockdale County Health Department, 985 Taylor St. SW, Conyers.

Jubon said the vaccines will be available until 3 p.m. each day or until 500 have been administered.

Two car lanes will be set up in each parking lot, and nurses will be able to administer the vaccine to either the driver of the car, a passenger or both, Jubon said.

Each person vaccinated will be given a short form on a clip board to fill out with their name and basic information.

"Because it is a medication we need to know who we gave it to," Jubon said. "There is no money and no insurance."

Jubon added that is a good idea to wear clothing that allows the sleeve to be rolled up so that nurses can give the shot.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that everyone 6 months of age or older get a flu vaccine each year. For more information about seasonal flu and flu vaccines, visit www.gnrhealth.com or call 770-339-4260.