Chandler medical workers offered drive-through service of free flu shots Saturday morning on more than 1,400 people.
The Drive-flu drill, in a parking lot adjacent to Chandler Regional Medical Center, tested the readiness of emergency planners and public health officials to mass vaccinate a large number of people in case of acts of biological terrorism or naturally occurring disease outbreaks, according to medical officials.
Kimberly Day, a spokeswoman for Chandler Regional, said the event went more smoothly than last year, when 1,264 people were immunized in less than three hours.
"We learned a lot about coordinating how we staff," she said. "We assigned workers to teams and had lanes ready to go right away."
The drill lasted from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and was staffed by more than 100 medical workers and about 50 city employees.
"We also passed out consent forms beforehand so cars could move a lot quicker," Day said. "There were hundreds of clipboards waiting."
Day said although getting higher numbers of people vaccinated each year is important, the focus is improving efficiency and helping the community.
"We had the ability to do 2,000 vaccinations, but really for next year we're just looking to continue to do the training exercise and do something good for the community," she said. "With the economy the way it is, it's nice to be able to provide this service to people."
The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends flu shots be given annually between October and mid-November.
The CDC advises senior citizens, young children, smokers and people with asthma and diabetes among others to get flu vaccinations.