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Asda Pharmacy launches ‘drive-flu’ service to minimise COVID exposure

Non-vulnerable people can still get the flu jab at the pharmacies for £8. Pic credit: Asda Pharmacy
Non-vulnerable people can still get the flu jab at the pharmacies for £8. Pic credit: Asda Pharmacy

Asda Pharmacy has launched a drive-through NHS flu jab service to ensure at-risk groups receive the vaccine without risking being exposed to the COVID-19 virus.

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.

6 Comments
Question: 
Would you launch a similar service at your pharmacy?

Chemical Mistry, Information Technology

Does not seem very professional just cheap and bit like a cow vaccination the car being the cattle pen and the then quick jab , dread  to think if some one had anaphylactic reaction in the car ! Alot of GP looked at this process but didnt go down this route.Have seen a more professional way of providing mass flu vaccinations have a look at lancashire vaccination service https://lancashirevaccinationcentre.co.uk

And give a better professional look to patients but then doesnt mention pharmacy which is intrestering

 

Leon The Apothecary, Student

I imagine it also saves a lot of cost and energy in risk assessment and cleaning down a consultation room with each patient. Asda is being cheap again, it appears.

Caroline Jones, Locum pharmacist

Must be fun for the poor damn pharmacist in this wet and windy weather, or do they provide souwesters along with the PPI???

V K P, Community pharmacist

seeing that Asda charge £8 for private flu vaccine, how about NHSBSA only pay them £8 for the flu jabs that they administer for the eligible NHS patients. surely BSA must be thinking that they are paying too much to pharmacy as a fee for the flu service considering Asda are able to provide a private service at £8 and to a drive through model. thank you for ruining the funding model ASDA.  

Benie I, Locum pharmacist

That's pharmacy in a nutshell; always cutting eachothers throats. 

Matthew Edwards, Community pharmacist

Why only to pharmacy? Surely you mean they are paying too much for all injections across the board in GP, pharmacy and nursing settings.

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