Spokane, Wash. - There's a new effort in our community to help keep you and your family safe and healthy. On Tuesday, October 24th, the Spokane Regional Health District is holding three free vaccine clinics at Garfield, Logan and Stevens Elementary Schools.
While the health district holds clinics for kids all the time, this event is special. They're working with Rotary Club of Spokane to make the clinics free for kids and adults, and Immunization Outreach Coordinator Alexandra Hayes says the three simultaneous clinics have the potential to vaccinate as many as 1,200 people.
"We will have free influenza vaccines for any adult who wishes to come and get vaccinated, Hayes explained. "We also have the measles mumps rubella vaccine, the MMR vaccine for any adult as well."
For kids ages 2 to 18, they can get all the shots they need for school, along with several others. That includes HPV vaccines, and of course a flue shot.
"The influenza vaccine right now is of course the most critical," Hayes said, "just because we are entering into that season and so, really the vaccine is protecting yourself, but also everyone around you too."
Doctors say vaccines are the best way to stop preventable diseases. Meagan Garrett, who co-chairs the clinic committee for the Rotary Club of Spokane, says that's why they wanted to help make these clinics happen.
"According to the CDC," she explained, "to be considered a safe community, 90% of your community needs to be vaccinated fully, and spokane isn't quite at that level."
By the numbers, 80% of spokane is vaccinated. 2% don't want to be, but the other 18% does, so the two organizations are trying to make it as easy as possible.
We stopped by a similar clinic last week to check it out, and it's a pretty simple process. You show up and fill out a form, then you'll go through a quick screening of just a few easy questions, and you're in.
One mom, Lisa Richardson, told us it was also much more convenient -- and more fun -- than taking her kids to the doctor.
"A lot of other kids around, so you kind of see the others when they're doing it, and know it's not to be scary," she said. "I thought it was great. It was super easy slick, convenient, they were great. Super nice nurses too."
Overall, they were in and out in about 30 minutes. It was just a tiny part of their day, making a big difference for their own health and the health of our community.
On top of the range of free vaccines, the clinics on Tuesday will also have dentists to teach kids about good dental health, and the Rotary will be giving out free cold weather gear for adults and kids.
If you'd like to take part, the clinics are going on from 3:30pm to 7:30pm Tuesday afternoon. The health district says if you have health records, please bring them, but if you don't have them, that's okay too. Just show up. The clinics are open to anyone living in Spokane County.