Nearly 400 people drove up for campus flu shot clinic

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Photo contributed by Tasha Sawai

Na Pueo reporter Chelsee Sawai receives her annual flu shot from a nurse while in her car on Oct. 9. Mid-Pacific hosted their first-ever flu shot drive-thru clinic to take safety precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic while still offering students, faculty, and their family members the opportunity to get vaccinated.

Chelsee Sawai, Staff Writer

Nearly 400 members of the Mid-Pacific campus pulled up in their cars and a needle was injected into their flesh for a few seconds as the flu vaccine traveled from a syringe into their immune system. 

Mid-Pacific hosted a flu shot drive-thru clinic on campus on Oct. 9 and Oct. 11 for the first time in history. With the addition of COVID-19, efforts to reduce the spread of respiratory illnesses, like the flu, are more important than ever this fall and winter, according to the CDC

According to Mai-ly Fee, elementary school nurse, 389 people participated in this year’s flu shot drive through.

The medical community is calling flu season and COVID-19 a “twindemic” because of the coronavirus being a pandemic and the flu an epidemic, which has made medical professionals worried about how it can be dealt with, said Fee. 

“It can overload our hospitals, our healthcare, and our resources. With these two things together, it’s scary. With the flu season every year, some don’t realize that people still die from the flu,” she said.

Some students said the flu shot drive-thru felt convenient and safe, which made it easy to participate.

“You didn’t even have to get out of your car, they gave you the shot right in your car and everyone was wearing masks so there was proper COVID protection,” said junior Shelby Honda.

The school prioritized ensuring the health and safety of the participants, and all appropriate precautions were taken during the event, Fee said. 

“Drive-thru was the best option so that we could maintain our distance, everybody wore masks, the nurses giving the vaccines had shields on and gloves, it was outdoors in the open air, and even when they had the cars parked, they were parked far apart from each other to maintain even greater social distancing than the 6 feet that is recommended,” she said.

Additionally, students said the clinic was simple and quick though a different experience than how Mid-Pacific usually offers the flu shot to its community. 

“It was very different because typically, how they used to do it was where we were at school and in-person, but driving up to your car and doing it instead, it was still really easy but it was just different, a different experience,” said junior Alex Goodrowe.

This opportunity also gave people the chance to get their flu shot in a timely manner, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“This helped me to get my flu shot earlier than I would have if I waited for my doctor’s office. Since COVID and the flu are going around, it’s good to get the flu shot — the earlier the better,” said Honda. 

If you missed the drive-thru clinic, you still have time to get your flu shot and ensure your own safety and the safety of those around you. Many places are offering shots, including pharmacies and drug stores.  

“There is still time. Even though the medical community suggests that you should have already gotten your flu shot, it’s okay and it’s never too late. You can go to any local pharmacy and most insurances cover it entirely,” said Fee.