Study dispels concerns about drive-thru flu clinics

July 5, 2012

Critics have pointed to fainting risks and subsequent auto accidents as reasons for concern when using drive-thru influenza immunization clinics, according to Ruth Carrico, PhD, RN, FSHEA, CIC, associate professor, division of infectious diseases, University of Louisville School of Medicine.

A review conducted by Carrico and UofL faculty W. Paul McKinney, MD, FACP, Timothy Wiemkan, PhD, MPH, CIC and John Myers, PhD, MSPH found these fears to be unfounded. Since the beginning of an annual drive-thru immunization program initiated 1995 at the University of Louisville Hospital, more than 50,000 doses of the have been administered, with no reports of fainting episodes or related auto accidents. The study, Drive-thru immunization: Fifteen years of experience published recently in the Journal of Emergency Management.

"Some experts in the field have placed their fears about fainting risks ahead of fact, and we wanted to dispel the myths," Carrico said. "We have created safe drive-thru processes that we feel lead to safer communities."

The 's (CDC) vaccine reference book, Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases mentions fainting as a risk of influenza inoculation. The CDC's information is probably focused on a more traditional setting and doesn't account for a drive-thru setting where recipients stay seated and are already in a familiar setting, the study notes.

Carrico and her team reviewed medical and legal literature and made statistical inferences about the likelihood of fainting following drive-thru immunizations.

"We found a person's chance of fainting during a drive-thru vaccination is less than the probability of being struck by lightning," she said.

This summer, Carrico plans to release a toolkit about how communities can develop drive-thru immunization clinics. It will include information on how to organize a clinic, how to train and orient staff, how to set-up the clinic and how to evaluate the success. The toolkit will point to experiences and lessons learned from the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic and will be available through the UofL Center for Health Hazards Preparedness website:

"We hope the toolkit will increase the capacity and infrastructure of the nation to administer immunization or other emergency countermeasures quickly, efficiently and safely," Carrico said.

Explore further: Green light for flu vaccine in transplant recipients

More information: The article's abstract is available on-line:

Related Stories

Green light for flu vaccine in transplant recipients

April 28, 2011

Getting vaccinated against the flu lowers kidney transplant recipients' risk of organ loss and death, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology (CJASN). ...

Recommended for you

Zika virus infection alters human and viral RNA

October 20, 2016

Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine have discovered that Zika virus infection leads to modifications of both viral and human genetic material. These modifications—chemical tags known as ...

Food-poisoning bacteria may be behind Crohn's disease

October 19, 2016

People who retain a particular bacterium in their gut after a bout of food poisoning may be at an increased risk of developing Crohn's disease later in life, according to a new study led by researchers at McMaster University.

Neurodevelopmental model of Zika may provide rapid answers

October 19, 2016

A newly published study from researchers working in collaboration with the Regenerative Bioscience Center at the University of Georgia demonstrates fetal death and brain damage in early chick embryos similar to microcephaly—a ...

Scientists uncover new facets of Zika-related birth defects

October 17, 2016

In a study that could one day help eliminate the tragic birth defects caused by Zika virus, scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have elucidated how the virus attacks the brains of newborns, ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.