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Driving through, beating the flu

Flu shot clinic at COC serves more than 1,500

Posted: October 30, 2009 10:03 p.m.
Updated: October 31, 2009 4:55 a.m.

College of the Canyons student nurses Joanne Kelly, left, and Jenny Avakian approach drivers in a line of cars that came to a free drive-through flu shot clinic held at College of the Canyons on Friday. About 75 of the nearly 150 volunteers for the event were COC nursing students.

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Hundreds of cars snaked through the College of the Canyons Valencia campus parking lot Friday as drivers and passengers rolled up their sleeves and felt the pinch of a needle pumping the seasonal flu vaccine into their arms.

The drive-through flu clinic dispensed 1,561 shots to people in 891 cars, an increase from the 1,200 shots dispensed at last year's event, COC spokesman John McElwain said.

He attributes the increase to greater awareness about the seasonal flu vaccine, which has prompted a stronger demand for the shots.

The event, in its fifth year, brought together multiple agencies, including the city of Santa Clarita, Los Angeles County sheriff's and fire departments, COC, and Los Angeles County Public Health.

About 75 of the nearly 150 volunteers were COC nursing students, and officials from Public Health were set up at seven dispensing stations in the community college parking lot where they screened and administered shots to people in their cars.

Among those waiting in the 30-minute line for a shot was Kimberly Morris, 40, of Valencia, who rounded up five of her six children for a quick trip to the drive-through clinic.

"We do it every year," she said.

Morris said the free clinic saves her about $160 in co-payments from her health insurance.

With kids ranging in age from 3 to 16, she said she understands the need for the vaccinations.

"In our house, if one person gets sick, it travels," she said.

"We have to make sure everyone gets (vaccinated)."


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