The Bucks County Health Department joined forces with the county Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) and the county Major Incident Response Team (MIRT) to conduct the 8th Annual Pandemic Flu Drill on Saturday, September 28. Over a three-hour period at four walk-in locations (Harry S. Truman High School in Levittown, Holland Middle School in Holland, Tohickon Middle School in Doylestown and Calvary Church in Souderton), county staff, medical personnel and volunteers gave more than 4,500 season flu vaccines.
By location, the drill issued approximately 1,300 shots apiece at Truman High and Holland Middle schools, 1,100 at Tohickon Middle School, and 800 at Calvary Church.
The drill, which is open to residents three years of age and up, doubles as an emergency preparedness exercise as one aspect of the county's annual participation in National Preparedness Month (each September). Members of the MIRT squad secured each of the four buildings five hours before the 11 a.m. start of the drill. In addition, members of the all-volunteer MRC operated the Holland site. "The volunteers truly made a difference, and are invaluable during a response," noted county Health Director Dr. David Damsker. "We always need more non-medical volunteers to assist with these events."
"I would like to thank all those who continue to make this drill a success for our residents," stated Commissioner Chairman Robert Loughery, whose family received their shots at the Calvary Church location. "This flu drill is a great way to test our emergency preparedness in the event of a rapid need for mass vaccine delivery."
During the drill, participants were asked to leave bags and pocketbooks in their vehicles. In addition, those receiving a shot were given a card as proof their inoculation (for school and doctor record-keeping purposes, etc.).