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EMA: 2,000 drive-thru flu shots given on weekend

by JULIE E. MARTIN jmartin@indianagazette.net on October 28, 2013 10:50 AM

Indiana County Emergency Management Agency’s free flu shot drive-thru clinics this past weekend hit the mark, according to organizers.

Of 2,000 flu shots the EMA had prepared, 1,997 were given out.

Held between 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, the clinics took place at three sites — IRMC in White Township, the Clymer Volunteer Fire Department and WyoTech in Burrell Township. The effort gave emergency officials a chance to test PODs — or points of distribution — for disaster situations.

The EMA has given out flu shots through PODs to test emergency preparedness for a number of years. The drive-thru clinics, however, were a first.

According to Bonni Dunlap, executive director of the Indiana County Department of Human Services, the event proved the county can handle a large-scale disaster scenario.

“If in an emergency we have to disseminate medication or whatever it is to the community, I believe we proved we can do that through this exercise,” she said.

Indiana PODs manager, Kelly Pidgeon, credits volunteers.

“I had roughly 75 volunteers over the entire POD period, and it couldn’t have been done without them,” she said.

More than 1,200 flu shots were given at the hospital site.

Peter Yacovone, of Ernest, headed out around 1:30 a.m. Sunday to the Clymer fire hall for his flu shot.

“It was pretty easy,” he said. “Just sign a couple pieces of paper, stick out your arm and away you went.”

He even won one of the raffle prizes, which late night/early morning attendees were eligible to enter.

The giveaways, like Pittsburgh Penguins tickets and, Yacovone’s prize — an emergency preparedness bag — were designed to serve as incentives to bring people out late.

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