Clinic offers one-stop shop for flu shot, virus testing
Last updated 12/1/2020 at 4:05am | View PDF
Over 200 residents took advantage of a free flu shot and covid-19 testing clinic recently, allowing them to get both tasks done.
The number of confirmed cases is on the rise, despite the Wear to Care campaign, urging residents to don masks whenever out in public.
The clinic, held by the Kern County Latino Covid-19 Task Force, was on Nov. 12 at the Shafter Aquatic Center. Dignity Health administered the flu shot clinic.
Dignity Health's Nora Garza, a health screening specialist, said that the clinics are very beneficial for those in the community who may not be able to afford a flu shot and also for those who cannot make it into Bakersfield.
They had over 200 residents drive through to get their flu shots. According to Garza, the vaccine they had on hand was good for all ages.
Garza said that with the increase in covid-19 cases, it is more important than ever to get your flu shot.
"Gov. [Gavin] Newsom is calling it a "twindemic," in which a person could contract the influenza virus as well as the coronavirus," she said. "Both of those viruses can kill you, so you know how important it is to not catch both of them at the same time."
Garza said that they were fortunate to receive extra vaccines this year and decided to go out to the rural areas of Kern County with the inventory.
"A lot of times, places such as Shafter, Taft, Delano, can get forgotten when it comes to money-saving opportunities," she said. "We thought that it was important to allow these areas to get some attention."
In conjunction with the flu shot clinic, the Kern County Latino COVID-19 Task Force held a free clinic in which residents could get tested for the coronavirus. Community members stayed in their car, and were tested by medical professionals. The turnout was great, according to Jay Tamsi, co-founder of the task force.
"We are seeing an alarming rise in local cases," said Tamsi. "I can't stress enough the seriousness of this pandemic and the importance of our communities to get tested," added Tamsi.
Tamsi also said that residents should continue to follow the CDC guidelines to ensure the community's wellbeing. "It's very important to slow the transmission rate by identifying positive cases, tracing and having people self-isolate properly."
Shafter is not the only site the clinics are being held. Clinics are also planned in Taft, Delano, Arvin and Lamont.