In need of a flu shot? There's an app for that

Posted at 7:01 PM, Dec 08, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-08 22:01:14-05

Protecting your health is now as easy as ordering a pizza, thanks to a new smartphone app.

You can now be lazy and get vaccinated at the same time. A smartphone app is offering thousands of free flu shots on-demand to San Diegans countywide. It makes protecting your health as easy as ordering a pizza.

Russel Haight is a registered nurse, but you don't have to go see him. With the app known as Pager, he'll come to you.

"We're getting our groceries on demand, we're getting a taxi on demand and healthcare should be the same way," said Jessica Neyer, Director of West Coast Operations for Pager.

The company has partnered with Envision Healthcare this week to give San Diegans free flu shots at home or work through Friday. It's all part of National Influenza Week, which is put on by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Whether you're swamped at the office or can't leave home, Neyer said, "There's nothing easier than someone coming to you on your schedule."

Users download the Pager app to their iPhones or use the website to request a visit. Users then enter a location, select flu shot service and hit confirm. Users will receive a call confirming the appointment and a registered nurse will show up at the confirmed location.

Public health experts hope the convenience breeds action. In the last year, there were 97 flu-related deaths in San Diego County -- the highest number since the county started keeping track more than 20 years ago.

"We're hoping to educate the public, better inform them about what flu shots are and what they aren't, and prevent another death from happening," Neyer said.

Just last month, the shared-ride service Uber offered a similar flu shot delivery for $10. For every flu shot given this week, Pager and Envision will provide a free healthcare screening to an underprivileged child through the Children's Health Fund.

"It's rewarding as a nurse to be able to go out to somebody and say, 'If you can't make it, we'll make it for you,'" Haight said.

Pager also provides board-certified doctors on-demand to come to your home, office or hotel for urgent care, physicals and prescription delivery.

Right now, those services are only available in San Francisco and New York City, but Pager hopes to expand to San Diego sometime next year.