The cars were lined up at Honor Heights Park in Muskogee before 8 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 26, for the annual Boo on the Flu drive-thru flu shot clinic.
It was the 24th year for the event hosted by St. Francis Hospital Muskogee and the fourth year OSU Institute of Technology Nursing students participated in delivering the inoculations.
Josh Pridmore is a fourth semester Nursing student who volunteered for the flu clinic.
“It’s great. We’re giving a lot of shots and having a lot of fun out here,” Pridmore said. “It’s the first time I’ve ever been here.”
Those wanting a free flu shot simply drove to the park and were given a paper to fill out at the first stop, then given the flu shot at the second stop, and at the last stop a piece of candy, a chance to give a donation and for nursing students to have one last health check of those who just received the shot before leaving the park.
Becky Elliott is infection control manager at St. Francis Hospital Muskogee and one of the Boo on the Flu organizers.
“We bring 1,000 vaccinations, and they’ll all be gone by the end of the day,” Elliott said, and the nursing students are a big part of the success of the clinic every year. “It’s gotten a lot faster and a lot better since OSUIT has been involved.”
Ched Wetz, one of the founders of Boo on the Flu, agrees.
“The OSUIT students are vital. We couldn’t do it without them,” said Wetz, who retired from St. Francis Hospital Muskogee as director of risk management. “This event has the most immediate impact on health. You know you’re doing something that has a benefit to the community.”
The convenience of simply driving up and having the flu shot vaccine administered through a car window is one reason for the clinic’s success each year, Wetz said, as is the cost to the patients, which is zero.
“They don’t have to exit the car, they don’t have to show an insurance card. They drive through this beautiful park, and it takes 60 to 90 seconds to go through and get their shot. It’s extremely convenient,” he said.
Being easy and free is exactly why Pridmore volunteered to be part of the flu shot clinic.
“I wanted this opportunity. I’m all about these free community clinics like this,” he said. “The convenience is a big thing, and it’s free.”