SAN JOSE (KCBS/BCN) – As some voters in Santa Clara County cast their ballots Tuesday morning, they were also offered flu shots at their polling place.
“We’re pioneers in doing this,” said Dr. Walt Newman with the Stanford School of Medicine.
The county’s first-ever “Vote and Vax” event was carried out at two polling places today, allowing residents to both vote and get a flu vaccine.
The Stanford University School of Medicine headed up the effort to connect the county to the program, a national project of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and SPARC, or Sickness Prevention Achieved through Regional Collaboration.
Dr. Newman said combining voting with flu shots is a no-brainer.
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“We spend so much time trying to get people out to vote that this is a natural,” he said. “They get out to vote, they get a flu shot and really the best thing you can do on November 2.”
The Election Day clinic was popular with many voters, like Ben Daniel.
“I think this is really why voting and civic engagement is important because things like this can happen,” Daniel said. “It’s serendipitous and it’s really important.”
But will the popularity of voting by mail put a damper on “Vote and Vax?” Dr. Newman said he didn’t think so.
“I think the pendulum’s going to swing and I think people are going to want to get out and do this sort of community involvement,” he said.
Flu vaccines were offered from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church at 2020 E. San Antonio St. in San Jose, and the Palo Alto Buddhist Temple at 2751 Louis Road in Palo Alto.
County residents did not need to vote to receive a shot, which cost $15 or less. The flu shots were free for those who couldn’t afford them.
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