The flu season is here and the DeKalb County Board of Health is preparing to offer its first-ever drive-through flu shot clinic on Friday, Sept. 15. Health officials will conduct the clinic from noon until 6 p.m. in the Northlake Mall parking lot near Macy’s at 4800 Briarcliff Road in Atlanta.
You can drive up, roll up your sleeve and get your flu shot in your vehicle. Nurses administer the vaccinations, which typically take one to two minutes to complete.
Although DeKalb is conducting its first such clinic, many communities in Georgia and across the nation have been offering drive-through flu shot clinics. In Georgia, public health departments in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield counties have conducted the annual Drive-by Flu Shot Clinics since 2008. Other states that offer the clinics include Alabama, Maryland, Connecticut, Arizona, Kansas and California. Some states piloted the clinics to test emergency preparedness for administering flu vaccines to evaluate how long it would take to vaccinate a community in the event that mass vaccinations from a flu pandemic were required in a short period of time.
DeKalb District Health Director Sandra Elizabeth Ford said she is looking forward to the drive-through event, which will help DeKalb further plan for an emergency. Dekalbhealth.net/flu
“I believe this is the first time that it’s been tried in metro Atlanta,” said Ford. “We have conducted drills before. In fact we had a couple several years ago at the Mall at Stonecrest and New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. These drills help us determine what it would look like in a real event of a flu pandemic. But this will be the first time that we’re using vaccines.”
Ford said DeKalb health officials are encouraging people to download an intake form that is available online for the drive-through clinic: at dekalbhealhealth.net.
“There will be fast-track lanes, lane for special needs and handicaps and lanes for people who have a carload of kids,” Ford said. “Hopefully, we’ll get a lot of people. If this is successful, this may be one of the ways we administer shots moving forward.”
In addition to the drive-through flu shot clinic, DeKalb also is offering flu shots to the public at its health centers. Flu shots will be available on a walk-in basis Monday through Friday between 8:15 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., excluding holidays recognized by the State of Georgia, at the following health center locations:
- Clifton Springs Health Center, 3110 Clifton Springs Road, Decatur
- East DeKalb Health Center, 2277 S. Stone Mountain-Lithonia Road, Lithonia
- North DeKalb Health Center, 3807 Clairmont Road NE, Chamblee
- O. Vinson Health Center, 440 Winn Way, Decatur
The shot is recommended for anyone age 6 months and older, particularly those who are at high risk of serious flu complications. These groups include young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions (such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease) and those who are age 65 and older.
Two vaccine options will be offered at the health centers: the standard vaccine for $30 and the high-dose vaccine for those ages 65 and older for $65. Aetna, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Cigna, Medicaid, Medicare Part B, PeachCare for Kids, and State Health Benefit Plan (excluding Kaiser Permanente) are accepted. Cash, checks drawn on banks located in Georgia, and credit/debit cards are also accepted. Other insurances may be accepted, but you are asked call ahead to verify acceptance and all are asked to bring your insurance card.
For more information about the flu or the DeKalb County Board of Health’s immunization programs, including on-site worksite or community flu clinics, visit www.dekalbhealth.net/flu or call 404-294-3700.