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New Canaan Flu Clinic Helps Guard Against More Than Sniffles

The Health Department uses the clinic as an emergency preparedness drill.

Public service isn’t the only motive for offering its seasonal flu clinic this Sunday. The clinic is also part of the health department’s disaster preparedness training.

Director of Health and Medical Director David Reed said there are plenty of places for people to get flu shots, but hopes residents will avail themselves of the town’s offering to help his team of volunteers prepare for the possibility of a health emergency. He said volunteers, including nurses who live and work in town, have been recruited to work at the on Oct. 2 from 1-3:30 p.m.

“This is our hands-on drill for people who volunteer,” Reed told Patch. “We could have a bioterrorism attack and would need to vaccinate or give antibiotics. The whole idea is to create capacity by using the clinic to spin up our volunteers and staff to provide treatment to the town. We use flu as an exercise.”

Reed said in the event of a “biological event” the Health Department would have to be able to provide antibiotics to one-quarter of the town in 48 hours. Sunday’s clinic is a dress rehearsal.

A grant from the CDC is used to help create the town’s medical disaster preparedness plan, but the government doesn’t pay for the shots. That cost is covered by the clinic’s $30 fee. will be offered, only shots

The Centers for Disease Control recommends everyone over the age of six months get vaccinated against the flu, Reed said. The clinic is open to everyone, not just New Canaan residents, and Reed hopes between 400 and 500 people will show up.

The town will offer a second flu clinic at on Oct. 19, from 1-3 p.m.

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