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Drive-Through Flu Shot a Safe Bet: Study

WEDNESDAY, July 11 (HealthDay News) -- Using a drive-through flu clinic won't increase your risk of fainting or being in a traffic crash after receiving a flu shot, according to a new study.

The findings counter claims by critics that people who use drive-through flu clinics could faint and lose control of their vehicle, according to researchers from the University of Louisville School of Medicine, in Kentucky.

The researchers looked at data from a drive-through flu clinic at the university that has administered more than 50,000 doses of flu vaccine since it began in 1995. There have been no reports of fainting or related traffic crashes among the people who have used the drive-through clinic.

"We found a person's chance of fainting during a drive-through vaccination is less than the probability of being struck by lightning," Ruth Carrico, associate professor in the infectious diseases division, said in a university news release.

The study was published in a recent issue of the Journal of Emergency Management.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mentions fainting as a possible risk of flu vaccination, but the agency's information does not account for a drive-through setting where people remain seated and are already in a familiar setting, the researchers said.

This summer, Carrico plans to release a tool kit outlining how communities can establish drive-through immunization clinics. It will explain how to organize and set up a clinic, how to train staff and how to evaluate the clinics' success.

The researchers hope the tool kit "will increase the capacity and infrastructure of the nation to administer immunization or other emergency countermeasures quickly, efficiently and safely," Carrico said.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about seasonal flu vaccination.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: University of Louisville, news release, July 5, 2012

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