Frontier drive-thru flu clinic open to all

SOUTH DEERFIELD — On Sunday, people will be able to strengthen their immune system at Yankee Candle Way.

The southern Franklin County towns will host a drive-thru emergency dispensing site, where free flu shots and flu mist will be provided to people six months or older. The clinic is open to everyone, including nonresidents of the four towns.

The clinic will be held 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday on Yankee Candle Way in South Deerfield.

The flu clinic is training for a health emergency when a vaccine has to be distributed to a large amount of people quickly.

“We’re training our community how to respond in an event,” said Deerfield Selectman and Board of Health member, Carolyn Shores Ness.

This week, volunteers met at the Deerfield Town Hall to prepare for the drill.

Ninety volunteers will help out during the drill along with local police and EMTs.

For eight years, volunteers from Conway, Deerfield, Sunderland and Whately have organized the flu shot clinic. The clinic started off with funds from the federal Homeland Security Department in 2005.

Each year, the state Department of Public Health donates 1,000 doses of flu vaccine to the clinic or $30,000 worth.

In the past, the EDS would be held inside a facility. But to decrease exposure to germs, for the last three years, the clinic has been drive-thru. While sitting in their vehicles, people receive the vaccine. The concept was inspired by a similar drive in Texas for the H1N1 flu.

“Everyone can stay in a contained car. There’s no exposure,” said Ness.

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