Delaware flu season starts with drive-thru vaccines

DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay rolls up her sleeve to get her flu shot in Dover Thursday afternoon. (Andrea Gibbs/WHYY)

DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay rolls up her sleeve to get her flu shot in Dover Thursday afternoon. (Andrea Gibbs/WHYY)

The Division of Public Health teamed up with Bayhealth, a health care system, on Thursday in Dover to offer free flu shots. This year the DPH held a drive-thru flu clinic. Governor Markell was the first to get vaccinated.

Four vehicle lanes were setup outside the Blue Hen Corporate Center on Bay Road in Dover from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Health officials urged residents to get a flu shot because flu season is currently underway and everyone is susceptible.

“We recommend everybody at age 6-months and older getting their influenza vaccine. The ones that we worry the most about having the serious consequences would be those who are older than age 65; those younger than 2-years of age; pregnant women or women who have just had a baby and those with chronic underlining conditions,” Dr. Karyl Rattay, Director of DPH said.

This year the clinic will only be offering shots and not using nasal spray vaccinations. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that we not use the nasal spray at this point. It was found not to be very effective the last couple of years,” Dr. Rattay said.

The clinic, coincidentally, coincided with the announcement of this year’s first flu case involving a Kent County man, who reportedly is doing fine.

The flu clinic also served as a preparedness exercise to allow health officials to gauge how well they’d be able to administer vaccinations in the event of a large-scale health emergency. To learn about free flu clinics near your log onto Flu.Delaware.gov.

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