Blue Mountain Health System offered free influenza vaccination in the parking lot of the Lehighton Area High School on Saturday. Nearly 300 people took advantage of the offer. The event went very smoothly with hardly any backup. Approximately 100 shots were offered within 22 minutes between 9 and 10 a.m. on Saturday during the busiest time.
Assisting at the Lehighton event on Saturday were members of the Carbon County Emergency Management Agency, CERT volunteers and the PA Department of Health. The shots were secured through a donation by the Department of Health.
Debbie Neff, R.N., and member of the flu shot planning team, said planning for the event began six months ago. She said she anticipated offering 700 shots.
"That is how many we presented last year," she said. "We were prepared for that many." She said she believes there were more people interested in the free shots last year because of the threat of the H1N1 flu.
On Thursday, Nov. 4, the shots will be offered from 2-5 p.m. at a drive-through clinic at the Palmerton Fire Company, at Third Ave. and Ave. A in Palmerton. No walk-ups will be given shots.
This year's flu vaccine is designed to protect against the three flu viruses that CDC expects will cause the most illness in the United States this season. The three viruses are: an A/California/7/2009 (a swine flu-like virus); an A/Perth/16/2009 (H3N2) – like virus and a B/Brisbane/60/2008– like virus, according to CDC.