Beat the Bug event provides free flu shots |

Beat the Bug event provides free flu shots

Terri Harber
Appeal Staff Writer

Carson City health officials will study their emergency preparedness skills while they give people free flu shots this weekend.

“Beat the Bug” is a free flu-shot clinic from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Saturday at the Carson City Senior Center and will provide approximately 2,000 flu-vaccine shots. People will be immunized first-come, first-served, either until the end of the clinic or until the supply runs out.

“Can we take a large influx of people?” Daren Winkelman, the city’s health and human services director, asked rhetorically during Thursday’s Board of Supervisors meeting.

They’ll find out as a result of this event, he said.

The technical term for the process the city is looking at is point-of-distribution. Immunizations are just one type of item or service the city may need to provide to most or all of the population, Winkelman said.

While practicing how to immunize large numbers of residents if a pandemic flu were to strike, the idea came up that the concept could be widened to help learn about dealing with other emergencies, he said.

Some emergencies – such as an earthquake or flood – could require distribution of blankets, water or food to residents.

Saturday’s immunization binge will allow the city to “kill two birds with one stone,” Winkelman said.

Flu shots offered at other sites around the region during October, November and part of December could cost $25 to $30, if the recipient’s health insurance or health-care program doesn’t cover it, according to Northern Nevada Immunization Coalition.

The preventive inhalant, Flu Mist, will be available at some locations and costs somewhat more.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that children younger than 6 months old, pregnant women, adults older than 49, and people of all ages with chronic ailments or compromised immune systems and their caregivers obtain flu shots annually.

Most others can benefit from the shots, except those allergic to eggs, who’ve had a bad reaction to flu shots in the past and people with a history of Guillain-Barré syndrome.

These flu shots – and the inhalant – won’t protect people from a pandemic flu strain or bird flu, Winkelman said.

For information about Saturday’s event or to ask questions about the program, call health and human services at 887-2190.

• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber or 882-2111, ext. 215.

If you go

What: Beat the Bug flu shot clinic

When: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday

Where: Carson City Senior Center, 911 Beverly Drive

Information: 887-2190