At the start of every flu season, hundreds of people converge on Providence St. Mary Medical Center to lean their arm out the window for a quick vaccination without ever leaving their cars. The free community drive-through flu shot clinic attracted 550 people in 2015, most of whom can’t afford the vaccination on their own.
Provience sponsors the event with more than $37,000 in community investments to reduce the spread of illness, in partnership with the Walla Walla County Health Department. The number of adults receiving influenza vaccinations in Walla Walla County is similar to the Washington state average of about 38 percent, but significantly below public health goals of 80 percent vaccination to best protect the community.
Working with our community partners
In addition to support from a group of 124 caregiver and community volunteers, Providence partnered with the local Kiwanis Club, the Amateur Radio Support Group and Walla Walla Community College of Nursing. The clinic also serves as an emergency preparedness drill to help the health care community practice for any future large-scale public immunizations.
When others can’t, Providence steps in
In 2016, Walla Walla County Public Health Department announced it would have to stop providing immunizations, including those provided to low-income residents. Providence plans to continue providing this important service for the community.