Lehigh Valley Health Network again will administer free seasonal flu vaccinations to adults and children six months and older during two community sessions in November.
Drive-through shots will be offered 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 9 at Dorney Park in South Whitehall Township and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 10 at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown.
High-dose vaccine for those 65 and older will be administered for the first time this year
LVHN is partnering with area food banks and shelters including the Allentown Area Ecumenical Food Bank, Second Harvest Food Bank, Allentown Rescue Mission, Transitional Living Center Program and the AIDS Activities Office food pantry to accept donations of non-perishable food items during each of the drive-through sessions.
Food donations are optional and not required to receive a shot.
Those who choose to donate food are urged to check expiration dates and only take items that have not expired and are non-perishable.
Those planning to receive a shot are urged to register online , where a vaccine information statement, consent form, link to online registration and maps of both locations are available.
Hourly slots are available for both sessions. Reservation times are estimates and not guaranteed.
According to Terry Burger, RN, LVHN’s director of infection control and prevention, 5,200 people registered online last year and that limited the wait for those who wanted a shot, in addition to avoiding traffic backups. “Online registration has been a big help in ensuring that the process flows more smoothly,” she said.
Those 65 and older will be offered the Fluzone High-Dose influenza vaccine this year. The High-Dose vaccine contains four times the amount of antigen (the part of the vaccine that prompts the body to make antibody) contained in regular flu shots.
The additional antigen is intended to create a stronger immune response in the person getting the vaccine.
“Immune defenses become weaker as people age,” Burger said. “This puts seniors at greater risk of severe illness from influenza.”
Burger said vaccine supplies are expected to be plentiful this year and so the public should not be concerned about being able to get a shot.
Those planning to receive a flu shot during LVHN’s November drive-thru vaccinations are asked to abide by the following requests:
• Access a vaccine information sheet and consent form for each person to be vaccinated at lvhn.org, or request forms by calling 610-402-CARE (2273).
• Complete the consent form and bring it with you when you get vaccinated.
• Dress appropriately—loose-fitting clothing for the shot to be administered in the arm of an adult and the leg of children less than two (2) years old.
• No pets in the vehicle.