Drive-thru influenza shots now available as flu season begins amid COVID pandemic

September 17, 2020

The pandemic is creating new ways and reintroducing opportunities to utilize cars. Drive-in theaters are becoming popular again, food delivery services are expanding and now vaccines are being offered drive-thru style.

The school year is starting online for nearly every child in the Washington metro region. Still, doctors are pushing hard for parents and their children to get vaccinated as flu season starts again.

“A lot of kids are learning virtually, so we don’t know what the flu is going to look like this year. We don’t know if the rates are going to go up or going to go down. But given what we know about COVID, the respiratory issues, the multisystem inflammatory syndrome that can occur in children, we certainly want to prevent the flu because you do not want your child to have flu and then COVID on top of that and wind up in intensive care on a respirator or ventilator,” said Dr. Adrienne Collier, pediatrician at Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic.

SARS CoV-2 and influenza come from the coronavirus family and it is possible to get infected at the same time.

Collier understands some parents are hesitant to go into a medical office during the pandemic, but just like drive-thru COVID-19 testing around the DMV, Kaiser is offering outdoor inoculation for the first time.

“You can make an appointment and get your flu shot right in the car,” said Collier.

She is urging parents not to forget about routine vaccines too, though those still need to take place inside a doctor’s office.

“we don’t want a pandemic within a pandemic,” said Collier. “We want to make sure that children are up to date on their vaccines so that when they do go back to in-person learning, they are protected.”

 

Originally published on WJLA.com.

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