Free flu shots offered as part of drill |

Free flu shots offered as part of drill

Kelli Du Fresne

The Carson City Health Department will help you fight the flu for free this year.

As part of a disaster-preparedness drill required by the federal government, the city’s health nurses will offer free flu shots starting at 8 a.m. Oct. 16 until the limited vaccine supply runs out.

City Immunization Coordinator Christi Smith said the Centers for Disease Control requires each city to conduct practice clinics as preparation for a bioterrorism attack. At least for this year, the practice drill includes a free flu shot.

“People may spend a little bit more time at our clinic,” she said. “They have to go through the entire drill.

“It should be a quick process, but we’re not sure if it will bottleneck somewhere. We have 10 vaccinators and 10 assistants; they’re all nurses.”

Drill participants will be asked to fill out a two-page health questionnaire and watch a 4- to 5-minute video before they receive their vaccination.

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“We want residents to understand that it’s an exercise,” Smith said. “It may take longer than a standard shot clinic, but it’s free. They won’t have to pay the $15, $18 or $20 being charged elsewhere.”

In the event of a biological attack, Carson City would need to set up four clinics staffed with 100 people for 10 days in order to vaccinate its 57,000 residents, Smith said.

The drill clinic will be at the front entrance of Carson High School, 1111 N. Saliman Road. For more information, call the city’s health department at 887-2190.

The drill will be conducted annually, but may not always include the flu vaccinations.