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Flu shot more accessible in Columbus thanks to free, drive-up clinics

It’s an easy way to get vaccinated in the safety of your own vehicle.

Each year around this time doctors nationwide urge their patients to get the flu shot.

However, many say this year, that call to action is more urgent because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This year with the pandemic, we’re really concerned about the convergence of flu season and the next wave of COVID-19 and what that could do to our community,” said Dr. Mysheika Roberts, Columbus Health Commissioner.

Getting that flu vaccine could help take some of the pressure off an already overwhelmed health care system, Dr. Roberts said.

“Every year, over 36,000 people die from the flu, is what we estimate, and we do see an increase in hospitalizations,” she said. “And so, if we see that merge of both flu and COVID-19, it could be a double whammy for our hospitals and we don’t want to see that.”

One issue some have with getting their flu shot this year, however, is that the idea of going inside a pharmacy or even the health department may be out of the question.

The City of Columbus is working to take away some of the hesitancy with their drive-up clinics this year.

“What we’re doing is trying to make the flu vaccine accessible to all, realizing that many people are accustomed to getting their flu vaccine in their workplace and with so many people working from home right now, that might not be as easily accessible to them,” Dr. Roberts said.

At their drive-up clinics, residents can pull up, fill out a simple form either using pen and paper or scanning a code to do it by phone, and get vaccinated without leaving the car.

The clinics are free and will be offered throughout the month of October.

Dates and times:

October 12 – 16

Columbus Scioto High School, 2951 S. High St.

9 a.m.-3 p.m. (Monday, Wednesday, Friday)

Noon - 6 p.m. (Tuesday, Thursday)

October 17

Columbus Public Health, 240 Parsons Ave

9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

October 19 - 23

Briggs High School, 2555 Briggs Rd.

9 a.m. - 3 p.m. (Monday, Wednesday, Friday)

Noon - 6 p.m. (Tuesday, Thursday)

October 24

Columbus Public Health, 240 Parsons Ave

9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

October 26

Ohio Expo Center & State Fair Celeste Center, 717 E. 17th Ave.

8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

October 27 - October 28

Worthington Community Center, 345 E. Wilson Bridge Rd.

9 a.m. - 3 p.m. (Tuesday)

Noon - 6 p.m. (Wednesday)

October 31

Columbus Public Health, 240 Parsons Ave.

9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Flu vaccines also are available at the Immunization Clinic at Columbus Public Health and many health care providers and retail pharmacy outlets. 

To find a flu vaccine near you, visit vaccinefinder.org or call 614-645-1519.

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