Mass flu shot clinic at Valley hospital also gets doctors ready for disasters

Phoenix Children's Hospital getting vaccinated to kids have a better chance of staying healthy.

PHOENIX - Phoenix Children’s Hospital is holding a massive vaccination drill Monday, while giving their employees their flu shots at the same time.

The hospital says it’s a win-win situation keeping their patients healthier this flu season and preparing for an emergency where they may need to vaccinate a lot of people in a short period of time.

Thousands of young patients come to PCH every year and with each flu vaccine given Monday, those children are given an even better shot at getting healthy.

Dr. Jon McGreevy is an emergency room physician who takes care of a lot of those sick kids.

“Every year there are a number of deaths from influenza in both children and adults," Dr. McGreevy said. "They’re often dehydrated because they’re not eating and drinking as well and then they just have a lot of difficulty breathing.”

Renee Connor is a nurse who got her flu shot today.

“I think it’s one small thing that I can do to protect the vulnerable kids that we take care of as well as the vulnerable people in our homes," Connor said.

Liz Nguyen, a PCH employee who's almost 30 weeks pregnant with twins, says she wants to do everything she can to keep her babies safe.

“Because you do worry about what they’re going to come into contact with at such a fragile stage in their lives so you want the people who are working with and handling them to be as healthy as possible,” Nguyen said.

Cathy Agostino is the occupational health manager who manages the clinic.

“We are the only big facility in the state of Arizona to inoculate our employees this way and we are preparing at the same time in case there was a disaster in getting our employees in and having their vaccines this way," Agostino said.

“The sad thing is these are preventable with the vaccination or they would be very mild if you were to get the disease," Dr. McGreevy said.

“The flu comes in waves," Agostino said. "The flu comes from different parts of the country. It could hit us at any time. And so it’s important for us to be prepared to protect our families and patients here at PCH.”

In addition to getting the flu shot, nurses say the best way to stay healthy is washing your hands.

Copyright 2016 KPNX


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