Free flu shot Saturday, Sept. 28

Tom KingFarragut

Flu season is not here yet, but it will be, and many of us will head out to the six sites for the 2019 Free Flu Shot Saturday on Sept. 28. The early prediction is that flu season will begin sometime during October. This also will be the 28th consecutive year for this event.

This all began when Dr. Charlie Barnett was a member of the Rotary Club of Farragut. Barnett and two or three doctors, with Farragut Rotary’s help, got this important community event off the ground.

Dr. Barnett will be out of the country this year, so Dr. Leonard Brabson has agreed to be the physician in chief. Dr. Brabson has been helping with the event for many years, serving as the physician at Halls High School

The six locations this year are the same as in years past: Austin East, Carter, Farragut, Halls and West high schools and South-Doyle Middle School.

The six Rotary clubs in Knoxville will handle parking, registration, and getting each site organized for the doors to open by 8 a.m. and perhaps earlier. Rotarians from the Rotary Club of Farragut, the Rotary Club of Knoxville, the Rotary Club of Bearden, the Rotary Club of North Knox, the Rotary Club of Knoxville Breakfast, and the Volunteer Rotary Club will be busy.

The injections are given on a first-come, first-serve basis to individuals age 4 and above.

Dr. Brabson says they will have 4,000 doses of the quadrivalent vaccine this year. “We will not give the high dose vaccine to seniors this year because of billing issues with Medicare last year,” he said. “It was an administrative nightmare. We are indebted to Tracy Smith of the Summit Medical Group for her tireless endeavor in navigating the Medicare reimbursement swamp.”

Dr. Leonard Brabson

Students from the University of Tennessee College of Nursing will again be administering the vaccine along with a cadre of volunteer registered nurses. The UT faculty coordinator is Gail Griffith. As always, each site will have faculty members present.

People and families who come for the flu shots are encouraged to donate to the Knoxville News Sentinel’s annual holiday project, the Empty Stocking Fund. In trying to increase the donations for the fund, which has shown a slow downward trend, the KNS will be accepting credit cards this year.

Dr. Bob Overholt has agreed to help publicize Free Flu Shot Saturday on his health segments on WBIR-TV, and also perhaps during a longer segment on the 30-minute Dr. Bob Show.

“One of the secondary objectives of our campaign is to increase public awareness and the importance of getting a flu shot. The Tennessee Center on Aging reports that Knox and its contiguous counties have the highest flu vaccination rate in Tennessee,” Dr. Brabson said.

“Our campaign was given credit for this. This year we want to extend this public awareness for all vaccines in combating the deadly anti-vaxxing movement popularized in social media, whether it be the flu or the other deadly diseases. If you know of someone who this would apply to and would agree to be interviewed to tell their story, please let me know.”

News & Notes: The club inducted two new members last week, Cindy Barnes and Andrew Henderson. That takes the membership total to 101. Cindy works for Edward Jones Investments and Andrew and his partner own five Fitness Anytime fitness centers. Candace Viox and her story will be featured on the Hallerin Hilton Hill TV show “Anything Is Possible” on Sunday morning, Sept. 8, at 11 a.m. following “Meet the Press” on WBIR. It will re-air on Sunday, Dec. 22. She will be talking about what led her to create her Water Into Wine Bistro in Farragut and how faith has guided her life. This should be a fascinating show.

If you’re interested in exploring membership in Farragut Rotary, drop me an email at We meet at 12:15 p.m. each Wednesday at Fox Den Country Club. You also can call me at 865-659-3562.

Tom King has served at newspapers in Georgia, Tennessee, Texas and California. He started writing for KnoxTNToday in 2017.


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