400 turn out for drive-through flu vaccination clinic

More than 400 patients turned out to a drive-through flu vaccination clinic, set up in an effort to boost immunisation levels in rural areas of Shropshire.

The drive-though flu vaccination clinic at William Brookes School
The drive-though flu vaccination clinic at William Brookes School

Much Wenlock & Cressage Medical Practice had 420 appointments booked in at its pop-up centre at William Brookes School.

Vulnerable people considered to be at high risk had been contacted by the practice to arrange a jab and were greeted by medical staff wearing PPE upon arrival.

Patients confirmed their personal details and were directed through the site to the vaccination tent, where a clinician gave the jab without visitors needing to leave their vehicle.

This comes after two care homes in Much Wenlock received flu vaccinations in an organised programme designed to get all vulnerable people protected.

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Dr Jess Harvey, of Much Wenlock & Cressage Medical Practice, said this year's vaccination programme, which is the biggest in the country's history, is the "most challenging" to date but has "the potential to save thousands of lives".

Dr Harvey said: "Due to Covid-19 we have had constraints on how we can deliver these services safely for our staff and patients.

"We've had to explore different ways of doing this and thankfully the school has been very kind in letting us use their premises."

Flu vaccinations are considered increasingly important this year as a way to reduce pressure on the NHS in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

"The vaccine is so important this year, not just to prevent the flu, but to prevent that potential extra pressure on the NHS come winter," said Dr Harvey.

Essential

"Delivering them is slightly more complicated as surgeries are given them in batches. Clinics are prioritising shielding patients and their household members, and also care patients and pregnant women."

All patients vaccinated at the centre in Much Wenlock were in the priority group, with any spare slots given to over 65s.

Dr Harvey said: "The influenza vaccine is essential, not only to prevent patients from contracting the virus, which does unfortunately kill a number of people every year, but also reduce the chances of it impacting the NHS if people do contract it.

"We're all concious of the risk of a further spike of Covid-19. We don't want a combination of a Covid-19 and influenza spike.

"This year's vaccination programme has the potential to save thousands of lives."

A second drive-thru clinic at William Brookes School is set to take place on October 10, before health chiefs look at organising a third.

Dr Harvey added: "This year's flu campaign is the biggest and most challenging we've ever had to do. I want to get across to people that GPs across the country are doing their absolute best at delivering it in a safe and efficient way."

Patients unsure if they are eligible for a flu vaccine are advised to visit the NHS website before checking their personal medical practice website.

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