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Free Flu Shots Every Tuesday At National City Fire Station 34

National City Fire Station 34 Sign and their Flu Vaccine Sign.jpg
Melissa Mae
A 'Free Flu Shot Clinic' sign is displayed next to the "Ring of Fire" sculpture and National City Fire Station 34 sign in National City on September 28, 2021.

While the county has been dealing with the fourth wave of COVID-19, flu season has also begun.

Every year tens of thousands of people die from the flu in the United States. The National City Fire Department knew that their community needed resources to help combat this contagious disease.

Free Flu Shots Every Tuesday At National City Fire Station 34
Listen to this story by Melissa Mae.

National City Fire Department Captain and Paramedic Scott Robinson coordinated the partnership with the Point Loma Nazarene nursing program. This is the third consecutive year for the clinic.

To date, thousands of vaccines have been administered at Fire Station 34.

“We’re able to give free flu shots to the community, so anyone is welcome to come, six months and older,” Captain Robinson continued, “We are the first fire station in California, at the time, to give out flu shots in the fire station. We designed a program that students, nursing students could come and get some clinical hours, giving flu shots at the fire station where the public trusts us.”

The fire department normally responds to calls when there is already a problem. Captain Robinson hopes the flu clinic helps reduce flu-related medical emergencies.

“We can start with the primary prevention, which would be giving flu shots to help prevent them getting sick in the first place, so that we don’t have to go to their house and help them take them to the hospital where it’s expensive, especially if they’re underinsured or uninsured.”
Scott Robinson, National City Fire Department captain

Monique Sawyer is the associate dean of nursing at Point Loma Nazarene University and says her students love working at the flu clinic.

“We’re always looking for creative clinical placements for them and it’s all about getting our students out in the community,” Sawyer went on to say, “Up to this point, they’ve been having hospital rotations and this is the opportunity for them to finally get out and meet people where they’re at and to meet an actual need.”

Free Flu Shots Every Tuesday At National City Fire Station 34

Flu cases may have been low last year because of COVID-19 protocols and reduced social interaction, but Sawyer reminds us that the flu is back.

“It comes back every year and now that we’re opened up, if you will, the flu has a lot more opportunities to spread. Just because COVID is here doesn’t mean the flu isn’t here either. They can exist together. We can be infected with both,” Sawyer said.

Sawyer wants the public to know that it is safe to get both the COVID-19 and flu vaccines.

“It is definitely safe to get them both.”
Monique Sawyer, Point Loma Nazarene University associate dean of nursing

They can even be administered at the same time, but if you are unable to get them at the same time, allow for a two week window in between the two vaccines.

The flu clinic takes place every Tuesday from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm through the month of December based on vaccine availability and community participation.