With the double threat of COVID-19 and the flu season ahead, all of the regional county health departments in northeast Tennessee are planning free flu vaccines via drive-thru at some area schools.

The Northeast Region includes health departments in Carter, Greene, Hancock, Hawkins, Johnson, Unicoi, and Washington counties.

The drive-thru clinics will offer free flu vaccinations to students and their family members.

Drive-thru participants will not have to leave their vehicles. Pre-registration is not required.

The drive-thru clinics will be much like how coronavirus testing is done, folks will not leave their cars when getting a vaccine

Doctor David Kirschke with the Northeast Tennessee Regional Health Office said they want to decrease the amount of exposure to any possible infection, since officials will not know which flu strand is circulating until the flu actually starts to circulate.

Doctor Kirschke said, “We know that 200,000 people have died from the coronavirus, in the U.S. so far, that’s 10x the number of people who died from the flu last year. Hopefully, it will be a mild flu year but there’s no way to tell.”

“They’re both respiratory illnesses. Unfortunately, we do not have a vaccine for COVID, like we do for flu. So, getting the flu shot vaccine, that’s going to decrease their chances of flu,” Wagner said. “If they do happen to get it, it will decrease their severity of the illness and also their chances of being hospitalized for that.”

Below is a list of drive-thru clinics:

More information about getting a flu vaccine can be found by calling your local health department Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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