DSU Student Affairs partnered with the City of Madison on Oct 16 for a Flu Shot Clinic at the Dakota Prairie Playhouse. The event served to not only provide vaccinations for students but also to practice an essential procedure for city departments.
Mayor Roy Lindsay was present to oversee the event and chat with students about the operation. As it turns out, the clinic isn’t just about vaccinating against this year’s strain of influenza, though it certainly served that purpose as well. “Madison is one of the towns in the state of South Dakota that is set up as a POD town, [meaning] point-of-dispensing,” said Lindsay. This means that, in the event of an outbreak or other public health emergency, Madison acts as a regional station where antibiotics, vaccines, and other medications can be rapidly dispensed to a large number of people. In fact, as Lindsay recounted, Madison is set up to be able to handle 22,000 people in 48 hours. This is quite impressive considering Madison itself only has a population of just under 7,500.
To make sure all agencies are up to speed, every year the city runs a drill, often using flu vaccinations, to stay sharp and keep the community healthy. Last year, Madison school district students acted as the test group, so this year was DSU’s turn. However, if a community member were to come in wanting a flu shot, they would not be turned away. This annual practice maintains the readiness of the city departments in case of emergency. “You know, it’s one thing to play a game of Monopoly. It’s another thing to go out and buy real estate,” said Lindsay. “We’ve played Monopoly at our monthly meetings, now we’re out here putting it into effect.”