The NHS is opening drive-through flu vaccination clinics at Ikea off the Purley Way and Crystal Palace’s Selhurst Park stadium, offering more people than ever a free vaccine.
“This year it is particularly important for those most at risk to get vaccinated to protect themselves and their families,” a statement from the local clinical commissioning group said this morning.
The drive-through clinics “are part of extensive plans to ensure everyone eligible can get their jab in a safe and convenient way,” they say.
The drive-through will be by appointment only.
“With the risk of both flu and covid-19 circulating this winter, the government has announced plans to significantly expand the number of people eligible, with around 190,000 people expected to be offered a jab in Croydon,” the statement said.
Flu jabs for those who are eligible can be booked through their GP or local pharmacist. Those who are eligible may also receive a letter or a phone call to remind them to book in for their flu jab, including information about where to go to get the vaccine.
“This year will see the biggest vaccination programme the NHS has ever run, however it will only be successful if our residents and patients all do their part and get vaccinated,” said Dr Emily Symington, a Croydon GP who works on the NHS South West London Clinical Commissioning Group.
“The NHS in Croydon has pulled out all the stops to make getting a flu jab easy and safe – not only working with GP practices and pharmacies, but private companies across Croydon, many offering their support at no cost.
“Getting a free NHS flu jab is a quick and simple way that people can help to save lives and I would urge anyone who is eligible to take up the offer to help protect themselves and their family and friends.”
Dr Symington’s colleague, Dr Gaj Sivadhas, the chair of Croydon GP Collaborative, explained that the vaccination clinics will use the car parks at Ikea and Crystal Palace “to give patients the flu vaccination in the safety and comfort of their own car”.
Dr Sivadhas said, “We strongly urge eligible Croydon patients to contact their GP practice to book an appointment at their practice or at another location to protect themselves, their family and our community.”
A free flu vaccine will be available to:
- people aged over 65
- pregnant women
- people with some pre-existing conditions including those at-risk aged 2 – 64
who are on the shielded patient list and members of their household
- Children aged 2 to 3 and all school year groups up to year seven
The NHS across all the boroughs in south-west London has implemented extended clinic times and using convenient non-traditional locations in the effort to get as many people vaccinated as possible.
Appointments will be planned to minimise waiting times and maintain social distancing, patients will be given information in advance on what to expect at their appointment. This will also include services which are usually available, including appointments at pharmacies, GP practices if appropriate and visits to those who are unable to leave their home.
The flu vaccination is available every year on the NHS to help protect adults and children at risk from flu and its complications.
More information is available on the NHS website – https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/flu-influenza-vaccine/.
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