Some pundits are predicting record voter turnout in today's contentious midterm elections. That might be good news for Democrats or Republicans, and will certainly be great news for public health officials. Why? Along with your nifty little "I Voted" sticker and the sense of having done your civic duty, you can also get a flu shot at many polling locations around the country.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and SPARC (Sickness Prevention Achieved Through Regional Cooperation) teamed up to offer the Vote and Vax program. The idea is to catch informed, civic-minded people where they are congregating anyway and get them vaccinated against the flu. Costs vary depending on the location, and anyone can sponsor a clinic.
In 2008, Vote and Vax provided 21,434 flu shots at 331 locations in 42 states. That's a lot of people protected from the flu! I'm not sure how widespread the effort is this year; clicking on several states (including ones with nationally significant races like Nevada and Delaware) yielded no sites that were giving the shots. You can search for flu shot clinics in your state on the Vote and Vax website.
There's no political component to the effort, and you don't have to vote to have access to the shots (but come on, you're right there).
Did you vote today? Or get a flu shot?