A partnership approach between five GP practices covering the Larne area and Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, will see around 10,000 eligible patients receive a flu vaccine this autumn.
The practices were faced with the difficult task of planning for the roll out of the annual flu vaccination campaign, made even more challenging due to strict Coronavirus restrictions.
As Shauna McKinley, Practice Manager at Corran Surgery, explains: “With around 10,000 patients eligible to receive a flu vaccination, the need to adhere to social distancing regulations, makes this impossible to deliver within GP surgeries.”
Getting a flu vaccine during 2020/21 is more important than ever because of the ongoing pandemic.
Flu can present with similar symptoms to COVID-19 and has the potential to complicate the contact tracing and surveillance programme.
There is also emerging evidence that co-infection with COVID-19 and flu may lead to a more severe illness.
Reducing the pressure caused by seasonal flu will help preserve the capacity of the health and social care system to manage any potential second wave of COVID-19.
The flu campaign will now be safely delivered by each of the Larne practices after the Council made the town’s Market Yard available.
Fully renovated in 2013, Market Yard boasts a large bright airy space with ample onsite parking.
Dr Ian Lalsingh said: “The safety of our patients is, and must always be our first priority, so I am pleased that by working together, we have come up with an excellent solution.”
The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough, Cllr Peter Johnston, added: “Community Planning focuses on the integrated use of resources to support the wellbeing of local residents through partnership working and is central to delivering change locally.”
All patients have been identified as per Department of Health guidance and should receive an invitation letter soon to arrange an appointment.
Please wait for your letter to arrive before contacting your practice for an appointment.