Medical experts are urging Australians to get their flu vaccine as soon as possible – but a doctor’s waiting room is the last place anyone wants to be during this pandemic.
Medical experts are urging Australians to get their flu vaccine as soon as possible – but a doctor's waiting room is the last place anyone wants to be during this pandemic.
So Forest Hill Family Clinic in Melbourne's east has taken its immunisation operation outside, setting up a drive-through flu vaccination clinic.
Nurse Cass Quilty says existing patients simply book in and then drive in for their appointments.
"They pull up outside the clinic, we take their temperature … ensure they are well and then give them their flu vaccine," Ms Quilty told 9News.
All staff are covered head-to-toe in protective gear.
And not only does the drive-through clinic keep patients separated from each other, it is also a way of immunising patients en masse.
"We have already vaccinated about 160 patients since last week," she said.
"We will continue to do it until we've got pretty much all of our patients vaccinated against influenza."
Forest Hill Family Clinic staff are hoping other GPs follow their lead.
"This is an opportunity to show other clinics it can be done you don't need much," Ms Quilty said.
Patient Rashida, who is self-isolating, is among dozens who had their annual flu shot within the sanctity of their vehicles today.
"I think it is an excellent idea because we are so safe. We are not mixing with anybody, you are sitting in your car, you've having your flu injection and you're fine," Rashida, 70, said.
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners is also urging all Australians to get their flu shots as soon as possible from their doctor.
President Dr Harry Nespolon said with COVID-19 spreading across Australia, this year it was more important than ever for people to get vaccinated for influenza.
"In a normal flu season, the RACGP advises people to wait until May to receive their flu vaccination, but with the spread of COVID-19, this is not a normal season," Dr Nespolon told 9News.
"The last thing we want to see is patients infected with both influenza and COVID-19."
The influenza vaccine is free for over 65-year-olds, children under five and other at-risk groups.
Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/flu-shot-melbourne-forest-hill-clinic-offers-drive-through-vaccines-coronavirus/1d138415-8a91-4505-86da-3fa37e094fb5