For the first time in 29 years, the Rotary Club of Farragut will be working at two locations during the Sept. 25 Free Flu Shot Saturday. In addition to Farragut High School, flu shots will be available at the new Hardin Valley Middle School.
Last fall’s flu season was very light. This year’s season, doctors and the CDC say, will likely be much worse.
This annual event will be held at seven locations — all staffed by Rotarians. Donations also will be accepted for the Knoxville News Sentinel’s Empty Stocking Fund. Shots will begin being given at 8 a.m. Children 4 and above can have flu shots.
Internal medicine doctor Charlie Barnett, M.D., who coordinates the event, says there will be 4,000 doses available this year – 2,500 regular doses and 1,500 for senior citizens. He said seniors 65 and above need to bring their Medicare cards or private insurance cards. He added that people must remain in their vehicles and wear masks.
The Farragut High School site will be coordinated by PP Ed Jones and Rotarian Bill Rice will oversee Hardin Valley. Both will have volunteers from the club along with members of the new Christian Academy of Knoxville’s (CAK) Interact Club and the Hardin Valley Academy Interact Club.
The format at all seven sites will be “drive-by” – flu shots will be administered while those getting shots remain in their vehicles. The injections will be given by student nurses from the University of Tennessee College of Nursing.
“Last year’s flu season was very light compared with past flu seasons and that is attributed to the masking, social distancing and isolation of people during the Covid pandemic surge,” Barnett said. “Now, a year later, many people are not wearing masks, because we have more politics driving this than science. People are not isolating, they are traveling more and partying more, and this Delta variant is highly contagious.”
He cited the high number of people hospitalized today who did not get the Covid vaccine since it became widely availeable. “Many of those people are sick now and many are dying,” he said.
To learn more about what the CDC says about this year’s flu season go here.
The CDC website says that a flu vaccination should be deferred for people with suspected or confirmed Covid-19, whether or not they have symptoms, until they have met the criteria to discontinue their isolation.
To explore membership in the Rotary Club of Farragut, call 865-659-3562. Farragut Rotary meets each Wednesday at 12:15 p.m. at Fox Den Country Club. Tom King, a past president of Farragut Rotary, has served at newspapers in Georgia, Tennessee, Texas and California and has been the editor of two newspapers.