Dianne Deibeler, and RN in pediatrics at York Hospital gives Mike Grandia a flu shot at the York Expo Center Sunday.
Dianne Deibeler, and RN in pediatrics at York Hospital gives Mike Grandia a flu shot at the York Expo Center Sunday. (YORK DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS- PAUL KUEHNEL)

It took Tammy Band a little more than 10 minutes to get her mother, Dorothy, a flu shot. And the two didn't even have to leave their car.

About 12:45 p.m., they entered through the Carlisle Road gates of the York Expo Center. Two minutes later, they filled out Dorothy's insurance forms.

At 12:52, they were shuttled into a pavilion, where a nurse injected the flu vaccine into Dorothy's arm through the car's passenger window.

By 12:57 p.m., they were out and driving toward a celebration for Dorothy's 69th birthday.

"I think it's terrific," said Tammy, a nurse practitioner from Baltimore. "You can sit in your car the whole time."

Hundreds of people flocked Sunday to the fairgrounds in West Manchester Township to get their flu shots.

There have been similar clinics across the nation, but they have been rare in Pennsylvania, said Jenny Nace, York County Area Agency on Aging spokeswoman.

Other places in the state that offer the drive-thrus are Adams County, the Lehigh Valley and the Pittsburgh area, said Joanne Sullivan, director of public health nursing services for York's health bureau.

She said a group of area emergency officials decided to bring it to the region more than four years ago after hearing of similar efforts in Minnesota and North Dakota.

More than 100 volunteers helped put together Sunday's clinic, which took six months to plan, Sullivan said.

"The idea came about because there were way too many seniors who had trouble getting out of their cars," she said.


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After checking into the clinic, seniors were given insurance forms to fill out as they made their way toward the pavilion. They were separated into different lanes based on their payment methods and insurance types.

At checkpoints along the 400-yard route, volunteers picked up the forms and verified the insurance providers.

When they reached the end, about 15 nurses were available to deliver the flu and pneumonia shots.

It's a convenient way to encourage seniors and other residents to stay healthy, Sullivan said.

It also helps the county prepare for emergency situations.

The carside immunizations offer local emergency officials an opportunity to train for mass immunizations, said Michael Shanabrook, emergency planner for York.

"This is a very good model for a mass immunization event," Shanabrook said.

The public appears to have embraced the drive-thru concept, Nace said.

Last year, the clinic drew about 900 people. Officials expected more than a thousand to arrive Sunday.

In the future, they hope it will reach other areas of the county, such as Hanover.

"We have it down to a fine-tuned operation," Shanabrook said.

epaik@ydr.com; 771-2001

IF YOU GO

What: Another drive-thru flu-shot clinic

When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday

Where: Manchester Township's municipal office, 3200 Farmtrail Road

Cost: $25. The fee is covered for people with Medicare Part B and most Medicare Advantage plans.

Contact: For more information, call the York County Area Agency on Aging at 771-9001.