Medical practices finding innovative ways to deliver flu vaccination

GPs across Northern Ireland are finding innovative ways to deliver flu clinics this year to avoid the further spread of COVID-19.

Tuesday, 6th October 2020, 11:16 am
Maine Medical Practice nurse Tara Agnew giving patient, Sally Ann  her flu vaccination at the Cunningham Memorial Church Hall in Cullybackey
Maine Medical Practice nurse Tara Agnew giving patient, Sally Ann her flu vaccination at the Cunningham Memorial Church Hall in Cullybackey

From drive through clinics to church halls and indoor arenas, GP’s and their staff have worked hard to ensure patients will get their flu vaccinations this year.

Maine Medical Practice in Ahoghill and Cullybackey is delivering its flu clinic at the Cunningham Memorial Church Hall, Cullybackey.

Dr David Johnston, GP, Maine Medical Practice said: “We decided to book the hall this year to ensure patients can come, in smaller groups and have space to wait, observe social distance and rest after getting their vaccinations. I would really like to encourage our patients who usually get the flu vaccination, to book their appointment for this winter. It’s really important that they get the flu jab this year.”

Dr Margaret O’Brien, Head of GP Services, Health and Social Care Board said, “The annual flu campaign is to help reduce the spread of flu and lower flu-related hospital admissions at a time when the health service is under strain as a result of COVID-19. It’ll also help reduce the risk of contracting flu and coronavirus at the same time. I’m particularly proud of the way GPs and their teams have stepped up to the plate this year to deliver this service under some very challenging conditions.”

The flu virus spreads through the air when people cough and sneeze without covering their nose and mouth. Each year the strains of flu in circulation change, so new vaccines are formulated to reflect this. That is why it is so important that everyone who falls into an eligible category gets the vaccine annually.

Dr David Irwin, Consultant in Health Protection, Public Health Agency said, “We’re already seeing a second surge of coronavirus and we cannot afford to be complacent about getting the flu vaccine this year. The flu vaccine does not give you the flu. It is offered as the best protection for ‘at risk’ groups because if they get flu, they are more likely to have severe illness and develop complications such as pneumonia, which can be life-threatening.”

“The message is clear – don’t take the risk; get the vaccine.”