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Flu Clinic inoculates hundreds at College of the Canyons

Posted: November 15, 2013 6:53 p.m.
Updated: November 15, 2013 6:53 p.m.

Residents receive flu shots during the annual free flu clinic at College of the Canyons on Friday. Signal photo by Dan Watson

 

With flu season right around the corner, Santa Clarita Valley residents took advantage of the eighth annual free flu-shot clinic Friday, with nearly 500 submitting to the needle in just three hours at the College of the Canyons site.

The event, supplied with 1,000 doses, was organized by Santa Clarita, L.A. County Department of Public Health, L.A. County Sheriff’s Department and COC to get the public vaccinated against the current flu strain. It also provided an opportunity for COC nursing and emergency medical training students to practice giving shots.

For the Jacobs family, the free flu shots helped save money.

“We’re taking advantage of the services for our family today,” Marlene Jacobs said Friday.

First-time event participants, the family of four all received vaccinations and said they were happy they wouldn’t have to use their expensive medical insurance to take care of the job.

“I was worried I wouldn’t be able to get vaccinated this year until I saw the event information on the COC marquee,” Jacobs said.

Flu season has already begun in Kansas, with the first cases reported earlier this month. But the clinic at COC also served as an extensive and thorough training event.

“It serves two purposes — one is to administer flu shots to people who need them,” said Eric Harnish, COC’s vice president for public information. “And the other reason is that it’s a training exercise.”

More than 40 COC nursing students took advantage to complete the required eight hours of service they needed to complete the program.

Students administered the majority of the vaccinations as a shot or nasal mist, and EMT students helped pre-screen incoming people wanting the vaccine.

All the students and volunteers were trained prior to the event using online tutorials and an in-person orientation. Most of the students were in their second year of the nursing program.

The yearly event also tested SCV’s Cities Readiness Initiative, an emergency response program implemented in case of a possible pandemic or bioterrorism attack.

According to a news release, COC was selected for its convenient location near freeways and major arteries so that, in a real-world bioterrorism event, large numbers of people could be inoculated very efficiently.

 

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