Flu shots available ‘drive-thru’ style

Published 8:32 pm Tuesday, October 6, 2015

While you’re running your Saturday morning errands, drive by one of Suffolk’s two Sentara Healthcare locations, because they will be administering two thousand free flu shots drive-through style on Saturday, Oct. 10.

“This is targeted for the community at large,” said Jessica Lowder, director of emergency and ambulatory services. It will provide people the chance to receive their preventive shot in a timely fashion and at a price everyone can afford. It will take place between 8 a.m. and noon that morning at nine different locations in the area.

“It tends to move along pretty quickly,” said Dale Gauding, a spokesman for Sentara Healthcare.

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Sentara employees will be administering immunizations to adults over the age of 18 all morning. Each car will move down the line, stopping at each of the stations, where visitors will fill out the required document, receive their shot and pick up some water or another form of refreshment so that the nurses can be sure none of their patients feel ill following the vaccination, Gauding and Lowder said. Each adult in the car, who fills out the proper form, will be able to receive a shot, Lowder said.

There is no need to make an appointment; all that is required of their customers is to fill out a one-page document with some standard information, such as names and addresses, as well as stating their consent to receive the shot, Gauding and Lowder said.

For those who are already registered Sentara patients, the information regarding their vaccination should be entered into their MyChart, Sentara’s interactive patient health database, they added.

This isn’t the first year Sentara has put on this event. It has been held since 2010, Gauding said.

“It’s very well received by the community,” Lowder said of the event.

The Suffolk locations are Obici Hospital, 2800 Godwin Blvd., and BelleHarbour, 3920 A Bridge Road. Another, nearby location is in Carrollton at Sentara St. Luke’s, located at 20209 Sentara Way. Other participating locations include three in Virginia Beach, one in Newport News, one in Williamsburg and another in Gloucester.

At BelleHarbour, a health fair will take place with free mammograms as well as free balance, blood pressure, bone density, diabetes, skin cancer and sleep-related screenings, Gauding said. These require prior registration by calling 983-0300.

They will also be expecting Sentara’s ambulance helicopter, the Nightingale Regional Air Ambulance, to stop by around 8:30 a.m. for the community to see.