First drive-thru flu clinic comes to Rotherham

FLU vaccinations will be given to tens of thousands of residents in a unique way this year thanks to a new drive-thru flu clinic — a first for Rotherham.

Five GP practices have joined together to offer their “at risk” patients a different way of receiving their vital flu injection in a bid to keep them well this winter.

The drive-thru clinic, featuring five lanes, opened at Herringthorpe Stadium car park on Tuesday and can accommodate 90 patients per hour.

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Advertiser health reporter Chloe West was one of the first to try out the new facility.

She said: “I am in the ‘at risk’ group due to having asthma. One of my main triggers is flu and the common cold, so it’s very important I have my flu jab each year.

“It was a surreal experience to drive up into my own separate lane in a car park, roll my window down and stick my arm out to have my jab!

“Thankfully the lanes are covered by a tent, so the rain wasn’t an issue.

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“Apart from my signing-in QR code not working, all of the staff were nice and helpful.

“The jab was very quick, and it didn’t hurt — I was in and out in less than five minutes.”

Sue Cassin, chief nurse for the Rotherham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said it was more important than ever for people eligible for a flu vaccination to have it done.

Flu spreads very easily and around 11,000 people die from it every year with even more becoming seriously ill,” she said.

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“This year it is vital for people who are classed as ‘at risk’ to get their flu vaccinations to help alleviate winter pressures on the NHS.”

Ms Cassin said around 140,000 in Rotherham are eligible for the flu jab and at least 10,000 patients will receive their vaccination at the appointment-only, drive-thru facility over the next two weeks.

“This drive-thru is a real first for Rotherham and is the first time a number of GP practices have come to work together to deliver the flu jabs,” she added.

“After months of planning, it is a positive step forward for us to be able to vaccinate a large number of people in a short amount of time.

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“The facility at Herringthorpe aims to vaccinate around 90 patients per hour and will be reviewed regularly to make sure everything is working to schedule.”

Patients from Stag Medical Centre, Clifton Health Centre, Gateway Primary Health Care, Broom Lane Medical Centre and Treeton Medical Centre will be able to attend the drive-thru after contacting their respective GP to book an appointment.

Ms Cassin said the other GP surgeries across the borough will have their own methods of providing the injections and urged people to call their practice for further information.