County administers 4,500 flu shots

More than 4,500 free flu vaccinations were distributed during Bucks County’s annual pandemic flu drill on Saturday, the county said this week.

The drill, which was coordinated by the county’s Health Department and the Major Incident Response Team, served as a dry run for a potential mass inoculation. Such an incident could be necessary following the outbreak of a dangerous communicable disease, county officials said last week

The vaccines were distributed across four locations in lower, central and upper Bucks, officials said, and they were handed out by personnel and volunteers in about three hours.

David Damsker, director of the county’s Health Department, said that the operation went smoothly and without major issue.

"Overall I was very pleased with how the whole thing went,” he said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that getting a flu vaccine is “the best way to reduce the chances that you will get seasonal flu and spread it to others.”

While the agency does not keep exact figures on the number of flu-related deaths per year, it estimates that the low number of flu-related deaths between 1976 and 2007 was about 3,000, while the high was 49,000.

About 90 percent of those deaths, the agency added, occur in people age 65 or older.