Gloucester County wants its residents to get a flu shot, and this year, is making it easier to do so.
The county has four locations for the vaccines, with three of those offering a drive-thru option. Services will begin on Oct. 10.
“You just sit in your car and ride up,” said Freeholder Jim Jefferson. “There is no easier way to keep people healthy from the flu. This is a great offense in how to keep our residents healthy.”
The drive-thru operations will be located at Clayton County Complex and the Fleet Management Complex in Mantua and Swedesboro.
“This year, because of the pandemic that we see, we are limiting the exposure to our residents and our staff, as we will be giving out the flu vaccine,” Jefferson said.
Due to the similarity in symptoms between COVID-19 and the seasonal flu, the county asks residents to get vaccinated to separate those with the flu from residents who may have the virus.
“If we can keep our residents safe from the flu, then that will keep resources where they are needed to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic,” Jefferson noted. “So people can get the vaccine and build up their immune system against the flu.”
Along with the drive-thru vaccines, the county also offers separate dates and times for daycare and preschool-age children and their families to get shots at the Gloucester County Health Department’s walk-in clinic. Masks and social distancing will be required.
“Some of the ways to prevent the spread of the flu mirror the things we are telling people to do to stop the spread of COVID-19,” Jefferson explained “Cover your cough and sneezes, frequent and thorough handwashing, wearing a mask and social distancing. It plays hand in hand with the way we are trying to prevent the spread of the flu as well as the virus.”
All flu vaccines are free to Gloucester County residents, who must fill out paperwork that can be found online or will be given out at the vaccine sites. Proof of Gloucester County residency is required and appointments are not necessary.
“The best defense is a good offense,” Jefferson said. “An overall healthier Gloucester County is in everyone’s best interest.”
To learn more about this year’s flu vaccine and for the full 2020 vaccination schedule, visit http://gloucestercountynj.gov.