Monday, November 12, 2007

Drive-thru medicine (and this isn't a complaint!)

I had a most unusual flu shot yesterday. Not that the injection method was different - I have had the pressure injection delivery (a la Dr. McCoy) a few times when I was a kid - but rather where I was when the needle hit my upper arm.

Lehigh Valley Hospital offered drive-thru flu shots, and what's even better the shot was free (my office HRs offered then for $40).

In a parking lot covered in strategically placed orange cones, I was directed about to a staging area where a consent form was provided for my signature. A short time later - less than 3 minutes - I was directed to pull my car into one of four "stalls". A medical professional walked up, checked my consent form, asked me to bare my arm, and after a quick swab of alcohol jabbed me. The whole event took less than 10 minutes start to finish.

Come to think of it, I have no way of ensuring she was a medical professional, but ...

A lot of people I know are strongly against ANYone getting a flu shot, with the idea that the recent news of MSRA as a chief argument against them. With all that I've read, those concerns are, at best urban legends. The last thing my MBH and kids need is for me to catch the flu; that concern trumps all the other fears.

Another curiosity: remember in 2004, when the FDA shut down a lab because they didn't meet their standards, and suddenly some huge percentage of flu shots weren't available in the US? People went nuts. I have to have my shot! Now, tens of hundreds of shots may have been given away over this weekend -- all for free. Could the big shortage a few years ago been nothing more than media-driven hype?

Here's hoping the supposed allergic reaction I had last year doesn't happen again this year. Swollen face, swollen hands, and a hacking cough - enough to make me pay a visit to a local hospital's First Med - didn't fit any allergic diagnoses, but that is what even my GP said.

Stay tuned...

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