Flu jabs are issued every year on the NHS, coinciding with the start of the flu season. The jabs are given for free to those eligible, with more people urged to take the vaccine against the seasonal flu this year. This is due to the coronavirus outbreak, which experts are warning could see the NHS buckle under the strain of flu and COVID patients.
The NHS advises the best time to get the flu jab is in the autumn, before the seasonal flu starts to take hold in the winter.
Getting vaccinated against the flu is important this year as those who are at higher risk from coronavirus are at risk of complications from the flu.
The NHS states research shows catching both flu and coronavirus at the same time is more likely to make you seriously ill.
However, some are wary of attending GP surgeries and pharmacies due to the risks of COVID.
Flu jab drive-thru: Where can you get a FREE NHS Drive-Thru flu vaccine?
Where can you get a FREE NHS Drive-Thru flu vaccine?
To tackle the fears of those who are not willing to attend public places like GP surgeries and pharmacies for vaccines, Asda has introduced a free drive through flu jab service.
The service will launch today and will be available in thirteen Asda store car parks across the UK.
Newly-released research from Asda Pharmacy has shown more than a quarter of UK adults (28 percent) say they are currently putting off getting a flu jab over concerns about visiting GPs and pharmacies.
This is due to the fear of coming into contact with someone who is suffering from COVID-19.
Flu Jab drive thru: Flu season is just around the corner, so those eligible are being urged to get vaccinated
In total, three quarters (75 percent) said they would be concerned about visiting their GP or pharmacy currently.
The survey was conducted by Research Without Barriers of 2,004 UK adults aged 18 or older between September 25 and 28th 2020.
So Asda hopes the ‘drive-flu’ service will address these concerns and help avoid an increase in flu cases this year due to reluctance to get a jab.
Individuals can still have access to a flu jab without leaving their car or visiting a medical premises.
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Maq Din, Lead Pharmacist at Asda Pharmacy said: “The sad truth is that there is an increased mortality risk if you catch COVID-19 when you already have the flu.
“As a result some of our most vulnerable members of society are at twice the risk compared to others, which is why we are encouraging everyone to get a flu jab this year; it is more vital now than ever!
“We are putting a number of measures in place at our drive-through flu jab centres , so patients can be assured that it is safe to visit – and they won’t even need to leave their car to get a jab.
“Contact time will be kept to a minimum in order to allow pharmacists to be as efficient as possible.”
Flu Jab drive thru: Individuals can still have access to a flu jab without leaving their car
To get the flu jab from their cars, patients just need to visit Asda’s store locator here, find your nearest centre by entering their postcode and book an appointment, either by phone, or directly with the store.
Once booked and an appointment time has been given, all you need to do is park your vehicle into a vaccination station bay.
Patients will stay in the vehicle while the vaccination is administered by a pharmacist through the vehicle’s window.
Drivers will be injected into their right arm, whilst passengers will receive the jab in their left.
Flu Jab drive thru: There are designated areas for the vaccinations in certain Asda car parks
Flu Jab drive thru: Now Asda have opened drive-thru flu vaccine stations at select stores
The pharmacist will also advise patients of potential side effects and they will be asked to wait for five to 10 minutes in a designated parking bay to ensure they feel comfortable to drive away.
Drivers will be asked to sound their car horns if they require any further attention.
Pharmacists will wear full PPE and patients will be asked to wear a face mask to ensure full safety throughout the procedure.
Non-vulnerable members of the public are still able to have their flu-jab administered in the pharmacy as normal for just £8.
This is available at the following stores
- Old Kent Road
- South Shields
- Wakefield Durkar
The free NHS flu vaccine is given to people who:
- are 65 and over (including those who’ll be 65 by 31 March 2021)
- have certain health conditions
- are pregnant
- are in a long-stay residential care
- receive a carer’s allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick
- live with someone who’s at high risk from coronavirus (on the NHS shielded patient list)
- frontline health or social care workers