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: 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.

Explore further: Green light for flu vaccine in transplant recipients

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

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). ...

Influenza vaccination of pregnant women helps their babies

February 21, 2012
Vaccinating pregnant women against the influenza virus appears to have a significant positive effect on birth weight in babies, according to a study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Why did healthy children fall critically ill in the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic?

November 7, 2011
During the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, many previously healthy children became critically ill, developing severe pneumonia and respiratory failure, sometimes fatal. The largest nationwide investigation to date of influenza ...

Recommended for you

Novel approach to track HIV infection

August 18, 2017
Northwestern Medicine scientists have developed a novel method of tracking HIV infection, allowing the behavior of individual virions—infectious particles—to be connected to infectivity.

Faulty gene linked to obesity in adults

August 18, 2017
Groundbreaking new research linking obesity and metabolic dysfunction to a problem in the energy generators in cells has been published by researchers from the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research and The University ...

Two lung diseases killed 3.6 million in 2015: study

August 17, 2017
The two most common chronic lung diseases claimed 3.6 million lives worldwide in 2015, according to a tally published Thursday in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

New test differentiates between Lyme disease, similar illness

August 16, 2017
Lyme disease is the most commonly reported vector-borne illness in the United States. But it can be confused with similar conditions, including Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness. A team of researchers led by Colorado ...

Addressing superbug resistance with phage therapy

August 16, 2017
International research involving a Monash biologist shows that bacteriophage therapy – a process whereby bacterial viruses attack and destroy specific strains of bacteria - can be used successfully to treat systemic, multidrug ...

Can previous exposure to west Nile alter the course of Zika?

August 15, 2017
West Nile virus is no stranger to the U.S.-Mexico border; thousands of people in the region have contracted the mosquito-borne virus in the past. But could this previous exposure affect how intensely Zika sickens someone ...

0 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.