Drive-thru flu clinics aim to get more WNYers protected

Orchard Park

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – Flu season is just around the corner and WNY Immediate Care staff were working to help hundreds of people get protected by offering drive-thru flu clinics at three locations.

“You literally just drive up, register, drive to the next station, the nurse will give you a flu shot and you’ll even get a little treat before you leave,” said Dr. Joseph Chow, president of WNY Immediate Care, during the drive-thru clinic at the Orchard Park WNY Immediate Care Saturday morning. Clinics were also held at locations in Cheektowaga and Amherst.

People never even had to get out of their cars to receive their flu shots, and they were able to drive away minutes later knowing they had done what they could to protect themselves and those around them, including people who are too young or have certain medical conditions, who are unable to get the flu shots themselves.

“Flu causes many complications. outside of just feeling horrible, if you’re at high risk, hospitalization and even death. So it’s very important to protect yourself,” Dr. Chow said.

Every year, though, the WNY Immediate Care staff says they hear a lot of excuses about why people don’t get their flu shots. “Some of them are pretty outrageous,” said David Vinti, the director of operations for WNY Immediate Care.

“They think that they’d get sick after the flu shot, things like that. But that’s not the case. It is a dead virus,” he explained.

One of the biggest excuses is that people don’t have time to get their shots. Drive-thru clinics are meant to remove that excuse.

“We’re trying to hit all the communities in Western New York to make it as convenient as possible for people to get their flu shots,” Vinti said.

The drive-thru clinics were held from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Saturday, but if you missed that opportunity, you can still walk in to a clinic to get your flu shot.

Now is the time to do it.

“It usually takes about two weeks to really build up your immunity,” Dr. Chow said. “Most flu seasons start in the winter, but it’s unpredictable. It could start right now, it could start later.

“But if we’re looking at the averages for when it starts, if you get it right now, you’ll be well protected,” he said.

For more information about flu shots from the CDC, including the facts about common misconceptions, click here.

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