The 6th Annual Central Peninsula Hospital (CPH) Drive-Through Free Flu Shot Clinic was a great success and ended up being the second largest ever. According to Dana McDonald, CPH infection preventionist, the record year was back when the bird flu epidemic as a concern. This year 368 adults over the age of 18 were immunized between 3:00 & 5:30pm while not having to leave the warmth of their automobiles. With 8 student nurses on hand from the UAA nursing program at the KPC Kenai River Campus, the line along Fireweed moved quickly with the longest wait said to have been about 25 minutes. As flu strains vary from year to year it is necessary to get a flu shot every year said McDonald, “The flu season is typically from October to March and we already seeing some flu going around at some of the schools. The more people that are vaccinated the better off the whole community will be, so we encourage folks from six months of age on to get a flu shot and wash hands well throughout the year and if you do get sick to stay home and not go to work or school because we don’t want it to spread,” she said.
Ashley Prakash is a student nurse and had already given 25 shots so far, “We usually practice on dummies so it is great to interact with live smart people,” she said. The people in line were happy and brandishing smiles as they were greeted by the friendly students, “They did a great job! And I think these free flu shots is one of the best thing the hospital offers to folks. We’re very proud of our hospital,” said Debbie after she got her shot. Jenn Stubblefield, a well known fitness instructor is working on her nursing degree and said, “This is my first time giving shots at drive through setting. I’ve been working as a certified medical assistant at the hospital and we do a lot of vaccines at the outpatient clinic and nursing is the next step for me and I find nursing a very fulfilling career,” she said.