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CAROLINE COUNTY, VA — The Rappahannock Area Health District is planning a "public health emergency" exercise on Wednesday when it will be offering free flu shots from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Wright's Chapel UMC in Ruther Glen. All safety precautions will be observed during the drive-thru event, the health district said.
At the event, the health district will offer free quadrivalent flu vaccines, which cover four types of flu, to residents ages 9 and up. Vaccine supplies are limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis until the end time of the event, or until the supply of flu vaccine runs out. The public should wear a mask and a short-sleeved shirt or sleeves that roll up for easy access to the upper arm.
The purpose of event is to simulate mass vaccination events in which the health department and local agencies would work together so community members could be vaccinated efficiently during a time of emergency, the health district said.
Rappahannock Medical Reserve Corps volunteers will assist health department staff with this exercise. The vaccine is provided by the Virginia Department of Health.
Only 50.6 percent of Virginia residents got a flu shot during the 2018-19 flu season, according to the last Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As the coronavirus continues to infect residents in large numbers, public health officials are urging residents to get a flu shot this year due to the coronavirus overlapping with the flu season.
Wright's Chapel UMC is located at 8063 Ladysmith Road in Caroline County.