Operation Quickshot Drive-Thru Flu Clinic
(Hardyston, NJ - September 24, 2016) The Sussex County Division of Health held a Drive-Thru Flu Clinic at Hopatcong's Department of Public Works campus on Saturday, September 24, 2016. This flu clinic was part of a larger exercise planned by the Emergency Preparedness Program staff. Clients were able to receive their flu shot while still sitting in their vehicles.
The three hour clinic was held to test a new Drive-Thru Point of Distribution (POD) plan that was developed by the Emergency Preparedness Team with the assistance of the NJ Department of Health (NJDOH). This type of POD would be beneficial during a public health emergency where mass vaccinations would be required to reduce the spread of communicable diseases. The exercise tested the Drive-Thru POD plan to assess its effectiveness during a real life scenario. The plan is adaptable and may also be used by Sussex County Office of Public Health Nursing as an annual flu clinic in the future.
It is estimated that one in five Americans have access and functional needs. A Drive-Thru POD would benefit this group of individuals by making it easier for them to obtain both emergency and non-emergency vaccinations. During contagious disease outbreaks, social distancing can assist in prevention of disease spread by having individuals stay in the vehicles they used to commute to the POD.
Emrick G. Seabold, Health Officer of the Sussex County Division of Health, stated that the day was a success and he was satisfied with the results of the exercise and flu clinic. "We feel satisfied with the plan and our county health department's ability to distribute vaccines utilizing this method in the event of a large-scale public health emergency." he stated.
The exercise scenario will determine the readiness of Sussex County to respond to an influenza outbreak through implementation of mass vaccination utilizing the Drive-Thru Point of Distribution (POD) plan. It will also allow for the team to evaluate the implementation of the Drive-Thru Point of Distribution (POD) plan with partnering agencies to determine the effectiveness of this method of vaccination delivery to mitigate the spread of communicable diseases in response to a public health threat or emergency within Sussex County.
Several organizations participated in the exercise, including NJDOH; Sussex County government, including the Division of Health, Sheriff's Office and Bureau of Emergency Management, County Administration, Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC); Warren County Health Department; Hopatcong Administration, Hopatcong Police Department and Hopatcong Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and the Passaic County Community College - Sussex Campus nursing students.