Study dispels concerns about drive-thru flu clinics

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: www.publichealthtools.com

"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.

More information: The article's abstract is available on-line: pnpcsw.pnpco.com/cadmus/testvo… ear=2012&journal=jem

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Medical societies: Adults need vaccines

Nov 19, 2008

The American College of Physicians (ACP) and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) have released a joint statement on the importance of adult vaccination against an increasing number of vaccine-preventable diseases. ...

H1N1 influenza hits older children

May 04, 2010

Children hospitalized with pandemic H1N1 influenza in 2009 were older and more likely to have underlying medical conditions than children hospitalized with seasonal influenza during prior flu seasons, according to a study ...

Green light for flu vaccine in transplant recipients

Apr 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). The re ...

Recommended for you

Arriving now at gate 42: measles

32 minutes ago

(HealthDay)—Traveling through the same U.S. airport gate, one infected passenger transmitted the measles virus to three others within a four-hour time span, illustrating just how easily the virus can spread, ...

Scratch from pet rat kills child; CDC warns of risk

1 hour ago

(HealthDay)—The tragic death from "rat-bite fever" of a 10-year-old San Diego boy highlights the risk carried by the pet rodents, according to a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

User comments

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.