The Marion County Health Department was joined by other emergency preparedness agencies
on Monday, October 2, 2007, in practicing how to handle a pandemic flu outbreak. Nursing
Director Shelly Yoder said the goal in such an event is to be able to vaccinate a large number
of people quickly. This event was in conjunction with distributing flu shots.
Yoder: "If they have any kind of special needs situation where they have difficulty walking we do
have nurses set up at the front door who can immunize them, without them having to get out of
their vehicle. If they are able to walk, they can come in and come to the greetings table to pick
up a form. We have volunteers to assist the clients to fill out their forms. They would come to
registration, pay for the immunization. They would check the form, send them over to nursing,
where they would get vaccinated and then they would exit. We do have education materials on
seasonal influenza and then they would exit the building."
Drive through shots made vaccinations go quickly.
Even without a flu pandemic, Yoder reports an estimated 200,000 people are expected to be
hospitalized and 36,000 will die as a result of the flu this year. She says receiving the vaccine is
especially important for those in high risk groups including children six months to four years of
age and the elderly.
Yoder says some of the keys to avoiding the flu are avoiding close contact with those who are
sick, wash hands frequently, and avoid touching your face with your hands. The drill utilized
anyone who showed up who wanted a flu shot. 127 people were vaccinated in the exercise at
Evergreen Christian Church in Salem. The average time to move through the system was about
- Car-side Immunization
- Walk-through Immunization
- Marion County ESDA
- Incident Command Team