Some time ago I walked by one of those "Free Flu Shots" signs, and I thought, we should be doing that at the club!
People come here to sweat on each other, become sleep-deprived and swap saliva. Basically we're where you come to get the flu, so why shouldn't we try to do our part to get ahead of that problem? Let people get their flu shot on the way into the club or on the way home. After all, it's not uncommon for organizations like DanceSafe or H.E.A.R. to set up their table at clubs, either inside or outside, to help people take care of themselves. This should be a no-brainer!
Well, it was very hard to get answers, but after investigating this off-and-on for over a year, I think we've learned that it's impossible.
One of our bartenders is a registered nurse, so our first thought was, does her accreditation allow her to just set up a table and stick people? She looked into it and the answer, unsurprisingly, is "Hahahahaha no."
It appears that the only people who adminster those "free" flu shots are Walgreens and CVS. And while they advertise that they'll come to your office and do your employees, it was hard to tell whether they'll come on site to do that for the general public, let alone at night. But after some phone calls, the answer seems to be yes?
But here's the problem: those free flu shots aren't free. They're covered by most insurance, but if you don't have insurance, or proof of insurance, they're $40 each.
First off, that pretty much makes this plan a non-starter, because most people don't think to bring proof of insurance with them when they're going out clubbing, and no way are they gonna pay forty bucks for it. I'm sure some people just carry that with them everywhere, but the chances of that go down the skimpier the outfit gets.
Bur second, WHY ISN'T THIS FREE? What kind of Libertarian hellscape is this that thinks that herd immunity works if you only immunize people who have insurance?? Spoiler alert, it doesn't, watch this video:
The best way for you not to get the flu is for everyone else to get a flu shot. Even if you don't care about anyone but yourself, you still want that herd immunity to be out there to protect you. That's why the Randian philosophy of "I got mine, fuck you" doesn't work when applied to disease prevention. (Or anything else.)
So we outsourced this to for-profit supermarkets instead of letting SFDPH administer it as a matter of... public health. Cool, cool.
I'll bet this also means that it's just about impossible for the homeless to get flu shots.