For Release: September 30, 2019 - Jamie Dukes, Office of Communications (405) 271-5601
The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) is coordinating a statewide full-scale disaster exercise with local county health departments and the regional medical response system, Oct. 7-11 at various locations across the state. As part of the exercise, county health departments will be providing flu shots to the public at no out-of-pocket cost.
The flu vaccination component of the exercise is designed to test the state’s ability to respond and provide mass immunizations to communities in the event of a public health emergency such as an infectious disease outbreak or bio-hazardous threat. To fully test this capability in a real-world event, the participating county health departments, including the OKC-County Health Department and Tulsa Health Department, will incorporate members of the public who will elect to receive a flu shot to protect them during the current flu season.
“This is an opportunity for us to practice working with our local, state and federal partners to respond as we would in the event of an emergency or disaster,” said Scott Sproat, director of the OSDH Emergency Preparedness and Response Service. “We are testing all of our jurisdictional regions as they activate point of dispensing (POD) sites at various locations. Being able to provide flu shots to the public is an added bonus.”
Flu vaccination is recommended each year for everyone 6 months of age and older. It is especially important for young children, pregnant women, older adults and people with chronic conditions who may be severely impacted by symptoms. When more people are vaccinated against the flu, there is less opportunity for flu to spread in families, schools and communities.
During the week of Oct. 7-11, there will be 21 locations providing flu shots as part of the statewide exercise. The locations and respective dates are listed below:
Alva Recreation Complex – Oct. 8
Beaver County Fairgrounds – Oct. 10
Bristow High School – Oct. 8
Claremore Expo Center – Oct. 9
Cleveland County Health Department (Norman) – Oct. 10
Cotton County Expo Building – Oct. 8
Craig County Fairgrounds – Oct. 9
Elk City Convention Center – Oct. 9
Hugo Agriplex (OSU Extension Office) – Oct. 8
Jackson County Expo Center – Oct. 8
Kiamichi Technology Center (Stigler Campus) – Oct. 8
Laverne School (Shackelford Hall) – Oct. 8
Meridian Technology Center (Stillwater Campus) – Oct. 10
Oklahoma State Fair Park (OKC) – Oct. 8
Oral Roberts University Mabee Center (Tulsa) – Oct. 8
Pittsburg County Health Department – Oct. 11
Pontotoc Technology Center – Oct. 8
Redlands Community College (El Reno) – Oct. 10
Seminole State College – Oct. 11
Tillman County Health Department – Oct. 8
William Ray Memorial Park (Madill) – Oct. 10
Following the exercise, all county health departments will offer regular flu clinics for the public. Contact a local county health department for clinic times and insurance information.