Local flu shot distributors have a new approach for administering immunizations this year, taking a cue from In-N-Out Burger by delivering drive-thru shots to make the process quick and mostly painless.
The Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital is offering drive-thru flu shots for $10 per person – a cost much lower than traditional immunizations – and the participant never has to leave the car. UCSB Student Health Services, as well as the local Costco, Long’s Drugs and Albertson’s, will administer shots throughout flu season, which usually begins in early October and peaks around late December and early January.
These immunizations are available to any person over the age of six months, and are offered in a variety of locations. Starting Nov. 2, the Student Health Center will begin administering flu shots to UCSB students.
Andra Dillard, a registered nurse and infection control practitioner at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, said it is important for people to receive the shot if they are especially susceptible to flu viruses.
Each year, approximately 36,000 people die in the United States due to flu-related complications, while another 200,000 people are hospitalized. The flu, which is often lumped together with other seasonal sicknesses like the common cold, infects the respiratory tract, which includes the nose, throat and lungs. According to the UCSB Student Health Web site, vaccination is the best method to prevent infection and reduce transmission rates.
However, Dillard said the immunization is only temporary, so students should plan accordingly when getting their shots.
“The flu season is at its worst in the winter, so you probably want to wait until at least the beginning of November to go and get all of your shots or your immunity will wear off before the peak of the season hits,” Dillard said.
Health officials do not anticipate a shortage in vaccines this year; practitioners expect to provide over 132 million doses to patients.