Mercy Fort Smith continues to provide drive-up flu shots for those looking to utilize the convenient, low-contact option for getting the vaccination.


Mercy began offering drive-up shots on Oct. 1 at Mercy Convenient Care – 79th Street in Fort Smith to help the community obtain flu shots as concerns about COVID-19 continue.


"We want to be sure the opportunity exists and to make sure it’s convenient and safe for patients to receive their flu vaccination," said Karen Mosley, practice manager at Mercy Convenient Care – 79th Street. "With doing the drive-up flu vaccinations, we are able to offer this seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. so that patients can receive their vaccination within a flexible time frame instead of just Monday-Friday 8-5 at their primary care doctor."


Mosley added that the drive-up shots help minimalize patient exposure because they are administered in the patient’s car instead of the patient coming into the clinic.


"This is a safer way for our high-risk and general population to get the protection they need from the flu vaccination without the worry of potential exposure going into a clinic or pharmacy," she said.


Many patients who have received a drive-up flu shot have expressed satisfaction with the experience. For Brittany Faulkner of Fort Smith, it meant being able to get her shot while staying in her car with her young child.


"I came to the drive-up flu shots at Mercy strictly for the convenience," Faulkner said. "I have a 3-year-old, and toddlers just aren’t any fun in waiting areas, especially during a pandemic."


Faulkner said simply not waiting in a line and being in the comfort of her own vehicle made it better than any pharmacy or clinic she’d ever used for a flu shot before.


"I drove up and called the number on the sign at 11:15 a.m.," she said. "The nurse came out, I signed the form and she administered the vaccine. The process was so efficient, I was leaving at 11:32!"


Susan Adams of Fort Smith stopped by for a drive-up flu shot on Oct. 30. For her, it was an easy choice. Adams is the director of development for the Salvation Army in Fort Smith.


"For me, it was the lack of contact, the precautions that were taken," she said. "In my job, I have to do what I have to do to protect the community and the clients that I serve."


Adams received her shot less than 10 minutes after arriving at Convenient Care.


"There’s no lines; it’s easy," she said. "There’s the convenience that you get to stay in your car, and I don’t have to be exposed or expose anybody else."


Adams said she would tell anyone not to hesitate to get a drive-up shot.


"Take the opportunity to protect your family. Surely you’ve got 10 minutes to protect your family," she said.


"The drive-up flu shots at Mercy Convenient Care is the only way to go if you’re looking for quick and efficient care," Faulkner added.


Drive-up flu shots are available seven days a week for anyone 18 and older. The drive-up clinic is open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily at Mercy Convenient Care – 79th Street, 3505 S. 79th St. in Fort Smith.


Those wanting to receive shots through the drive-up clinic should park in one of four designated spots at the clinic, have their insurance information ready and call the clinic to register by phone. The number is 479-709-8686. A clinic staff member will conduct a brief phone registration before meeting the patient at their car to administer the flu shot. Masks are recommended.


Flu shots are also available inside Mercy Convenient Care – 79th Street as well as at other Mercy locations. Mercy continues to require masking and social distancing inside all facilities.


For questions, please call Mercy Convenient Care – 79th Street at 479-709-8686.