Drivers can get free flu shots in Knoxville, Tenn.

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Free flu shots will be offered to truck drivers today, Nov. 16, through Saturday, Nov. 18, at the Watt Road Petro at Exit 369 from Interstates 40/75 in Knoxville, Tenn. John McElligott, medical director and chief executive officer of Professional Drivers Medical Depots, says he expects to administer flu shots to more than 10,000 drivers in what he hopes will be an annual event.

Every year in the United States, up to 20 percent of the population gets the flu. More than 200,000 flu sufferers are hospitalized, and about 36,000 die, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Like so many other preventative treatments, flu shots often are inaccessible to long-haul truckers, McElligott says.

To address the problem, PDMD plans to open up to 80 health-care clinics in truck stops nationwide; the clinic at the Watts Road Petro is scheduled to open in mid-December. McElligott’s plans include a comprehensive survey of truckers’ health issues and health-care programs geared specifically to address these concerns.

Sponsors of the free flu shots include Truckers News, Petro Stopping Centers, XM Satellite Radio’s Dave Nemo, Strata-G, Weight Watchers, Purdy Bros. Trucking, FSGBank and London County Trucking.