COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Columbus Public Health is operating a drive-thru flu shot clinic at the Ohio State Fairgrounds.
It’s taking place at the Celeste Center, and people can receive the vaccine without any out-of-pocket costs. CPH says that applies to people without insurance as well.
Some of the usual ways people get the flu shot aren’t available this year. School clinics are not happening with schools in Columbus closed. Many clinics that usually take place at offices are also not happening. Some are also not comfortable going inside places. Those are all reasons CPH is having drive-thru clinics.
“We wanted to remove all the barriers for getting a flu shot this year and make it easy and accessible,” said Dr. Mysheika Roberts, commissioner of Columbus Public Health.
People wanting a flu shot at the fairgrounds should follow the Columbus Public Health signs. No appointment is needed to get the flu vaccine. Due to the pandemic, Roberts says it’s more important than ever to get the flu shot this year.
“If we’re vaccinated against flu we’ll have less flu activity in our community, when you’re sick you’re less likely to question is it Covid19 or the flu because you know you got your flu vaccine,” she said. “But most importantly we won’t overwhelm our hospital systems with both flu cases and Covid19 cases.”
CPH has had other clinics and has some more planned for other locations. According to a spokesperson, 2,233 people got the vaccine from Oct. 10 to 24. 82 people got the flu shot at the first day of the clinic at the fairgrounds.
It’s open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and CPH plans to have it running the rest of the year. When it comes to how much of the population usually gets the vaccine, Roberts says exact statistics are hard to get.
“We estimate about 30% of the population overall gets the flu shot annually. This year we’re going to be happy if we can get that doubled to 60% or higher,” she said.