New Hanover County offers free flu vaccines

New Hanover County offers free flu vaccines

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - New Hanover County health officials offered free flu vaccination on Saturday, Oct. 12.

The event will took place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and was located in downtown Wilmington in the Cape Fear Community College student parking lot between Hanover and Brunswick streets, beside the Schwartz Center.

During this event, New Hanover County was also practicing its plans to rapidly dispense vaccines to the public in the event of a public health emergency.

“By using our Point of Dispensing Plan to actually run a real drive-through vaccination clinic, we will be able to test our plans on a level that is hard to accomplish through a role-playing exercise,” said New Hanover County Public Health Preparedness Coordinator Lisa Brown. “The added benefit is that we can better prepare our community for flu season.”

A Point of Dispensing Plan is a best practice model designed to provide medications, vaccines or medical supplies to a large community during a health emergency. During the Point of Dispensing exercise, 1,000 flu shots will be administered.

The flu (influenza) is a contagious respiratory virus that can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Those at risk for serious flu complications include older people, young children and people with certain health conditions or a compromised immune system. Getting vaccinated helps prevent getting the flu and protects others from getting the flu.

NHRMC, NHRMC EMS, the Southeastern Healthcare Preparedness Region and the International Medical Corps all worked together to make this a successful event.

How to Participate

Anyone in the community can get a free flu vaccine and participate in this exercise by coming to the parking lot next to the Schwartz Center on Saturday, Oct. 12 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., or until the vaccine runs out. Officials confirm this flu vaccine event is open to everyone, including those living outside New Hanover County.

Attendees should wear short-sleeved shirts, or be able to roll up long sleeves to their shoulder. There will be a walk-up and a drive-through option to receive a flu shot:

  • Walk-up option:
    • To walk-up, participants should park nearby and visit the tent that will be located at the corner of 2nd and Brunswick Streets to receive their vaccine.
  • Drive-through option:
    • Participants will be directed to enter from Hanover Street, and will need to follow the directions of staff and volunteers carefully. The layout and traffic flow for the event can be viewed here.
    • Cars will be greeted and directed to a lane depending on the number of people in the vehicle. Multiple people per vehicle is encouraged.
    • It will not be necessary to get out of the car to receive the flu vaccine.

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