CHARLOTTESVILLE, V.A. (WVIR) - The Thomas Jefferson Health District (TJHD) has been making sure the public is protected during the peak times of flu season. It has hosted several free flu shot events and has now gathered data to better serve the community.
The free flu shots are part of a training exercise for the health department to make sure it is able to respond in case of an emergency. Now, staff with the department are happy with the results of the exercise.
The TJHD has been hard at work hosting vaccination clinics around central Virginia.
"So we’ve done 10 so far. We have given out just over 440 vaccines and we still have one more to go,” Emergency Coordinator Jessica Salah said.
The ‘Point-of-Dispensing’ exercise helps staff test their capabilities when it comes to getting people in the door, treated and then out the door.
"We ran our numbers and we calculated that it was just under 10 minutes from the point of them entering into the point of dispensing to them exiting, so that was filling out their paperwork, getting the vaccine, getting information from the nurse,” Salah said.
It also tests the strength of coordination with other health professionals in case extra help is needed.
"We were able to coordinate with the school systems, we were able to coordinate with emergency managers, EMS and fire, the Sherriff’s office, so we did a lot of outward communication and coordination,” Salah said.
Besides these training exercises, the health district also offers several other places to get the shot.
"We offer free flu vaccine clinics every year, but we also offer the vaccine at all of our clinics throughout the health district, so people can come in, we have walk-in clinics, we have clinics that are by appointment,” TJHD Spokesperson Kathryn Goodman said.
Staff say they are happy with the results from exercise because it ensures them they are prepared in case of an emergency.
"We want to make it as convenient and as quick as possible, so that encourages people to come out if there were an emergency,” Salah said.
If you have not gotten a flu shot, it’s not too late. More flu shots will be given out on December 11 in Louisa County. No appointment is required.