Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) will administer free influenza vaccinations for the 26th straight year for adults and children age 6 months and older during two drive-thru flu shot clinics in November. Vaccines will be administered at Dorney Park in Allentown on Saturday, Nov. 4, and Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH)–Hecktown Oaks in Lower Nazareth Township on Sunday, Nov. 5, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day.
LVHN to Offer Free Drive-Thru Flu Shots in November
Registration underway for vaccinations at Dorney Park and LVH–Hecktown Oaks
Everyone receiving a flu shot at either drive-thru location is asked to fill out a consent form and register by visiting LVHN.org/flushot and following the instructions, by scanning the QR code on postcards being mailed, or by calling 1-835-215-5438, Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. The line also will be open on the clinic dates (Nov. 4 and 5) 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
For the past 25 years, LVHN’s community influenza vaccination campaign has administered over 206,000 free flu shots and collected almost 164,000 pounds of food for area food banks.
“Being vaccinated against influenza reduces the risk for illness, hospitalization and death from the flu,” said Alex Benjamin, MD, LVHN’s Chief of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology. “Like many respiratory illnesses, influenza can be spread by infected individuals who are not showing symptoms, and if we are not masking as often as we have in recent years, we could see increased transmission. Therefore, we strongly encourage everyone to make it their responsibility to get vaccinated.”
According to a CDC report released this month, the flu vaccine helped reduce hospitalizations by 52 percent in the Southern Hemisphere. The report noted that circulating influenza viruses were genetically similar to those targeted by the 2023-24 Northern Hemisphere influenza vaccine formulation, indicating the vaccine might offer similar protection if these viruses predominate during the coming Northern Hemisphere influenza season.
Dr. Benjamin said routine vaccination should be deferred for people with a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis, regardless of symptoms, until they have met criteria to discontinue isolation. While having a mild illness is not a reason to avoid vaccination altogether, people who are sick should avoid exposing health care professionals, family and friends to their illness.
LVHN is once again partnering with area food banks and shelters to accept donations of unexpired, nonperishable food items during each of the drive-thru sessions. Food donations are optional and not required to receive a shot. Those who choose to donate food are urged to check the expiration date and only bring items that have not expired and are non-perishable.
In addition, volunteers will be collecting other items to assist those in need in our community. These include things like diapers, personal hygiene products (e.g., toothbrushes), coffee pods and disinfectant wipes.
Maps of the vaccination routes for Dorney Park and LVH–Hecktown Oaks are available at LVHN.org/flushot.
According to Terry Burger, RN, LVHN’s Administrator for Infection Control and Prevention, a standard dose of flu vaccine will be given to those 6 months to 64 years of age. Burger said those 65 and older will be offered the high-dose vaccine.
“Getting the vaccine remains the best way to protect yourself and those around you from getting the flu,” Burger said.
Vaccine supplies are abundant so people should not be concerned about availability.
Those planning to receive a flu shot during LVHN’s November drive-thru vaccination clinics should wear loose-fitting clothing so the shot can be administered in the arm or the leg for children under 2 years of age.