Patients eligible for a free NHS flu jab and those paying for their flu vaccine can drive to one of the 13 Asda store car parks that are offering the “drive-flu” service, which launched yesterday (October 8).
The service – which the company said is the first of its kind in the UK – is also open to frontline healthcare workers, including those working in care or nursing homes.
Patients can book an appointment at their local drive-flu clinic. They will be asked to wear a face mask and to remain in their car while an Asda pharmacist in full personal protective equipment administers the flu vaccine through the window of their vehicle.
“Contact time will be kept to a minimum in order to allow pharmacists to be as efficient as possible,” said Maq Din, Asda Pharmacy lead pharmacist.
The cost of a private flu jab at Asda is £8, and those interested can still book an appointment at one of the supermarket’s pharmacy’s branches, the company said.
Reducing COVID-19 risk
The company said there is a “clear need” for the drive-flu service because research by Asda Pharmacy revealed that 28% of adults say the risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus at a GP or pharmacy setting discourages them from getting a flu jab.
The company hopes that its service will “address these concerns and help avoid an increase in flu cases this year due to reluctance to get a jab”, it said in a statement yesterday.
Asda’s drive flu service launched just over two weeks after Boots and Lloydspharmacy temporarily closed their online booking systems for flu vaccines due to increased demand.
Pharmacy teams and representative bodies told C+D last month that they are struggling to source flu vaccines as supplies for the 2020/21 season are running short due to high demand.