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Drive-thru flu shot clinic offered Saturday in OKC

Oklahoma City — If you haven't gotten your flu shot and don't feel like getting out of your car, the Oklahoma City-County Health Department has the clinic for you.

The local health department will offer free flu shots from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Remington Park in parking lot C-3. People who haven't had the shot can drive up, roll down their windows and put an arm out for the shot if they want, said Jackie Shawnee, chief of communications at the health department. The drive-thru clinic will be a first for Oklahoma County, but Tulsa has used the concept successfully for years, she said.

“OCCHD understands the busy lives our citizens lead and that cost may be a barrier in receiving the vaccination, so we are offering a free, drive-thru clinic that is affordable and easy to access for our community,” Gary Cox, the department's executive director, said in a statement.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health donated 650 doses of the vaccine, so they could be distributed for free at the drive-thru clinic. Anyone six months or older can receive the shot.

So far, eight people in Oklahoma County have died from the flu, and 456 have been hospitalized. Two of those who died were adults younger than 50, who generally are at lower risk of flu complications.

Statewide, 2,509 people have been hospitalized due to flu, and 92 have died.

The vaccine doesn't provide perfect protection, so people who get it still need to wash their hands frequently or use hand sanitizer, avoid close contact with people who are sick and disinfect surfaces that people touch frequently. Eating nutritious foods and getting enough sleep also can reduce a person's odds of getting sick.

Getting the shot can reduce the severity of flu symptoms, but if you get sick, you still need to stay home and cover your coughs and sneezes. It takes about two weeks for the immune system to respond to the shot, so it's particularly important to avoid infection in the days after vaccination.

The shots also are available 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to noon Friday at three county health department locations: 2700 NE 63, 2149 SW 59 and 4113 NW 10.

Meg Wingerter

Meg Wingerter has covered health at The Oklahoman since July 2017. Previously, she lived in Topeka, Kansas, and worked at Kansas News Service and The Topeka Capital-Journal, where she earned awards for business coverage. She graduated from... Read more ›