13 Aug 2022

Large-scale flu vaccination clinics to be held at Derry schools in the coming weeks in response to pandemic

People will receive invitations to attend clinics

All secondary school first years in Louth to receive HPV vaccine

The flu clinics will be held in local schools.

Large flu vaccination clinics will be held at Derry schools in the coming weeks.

Each year, a large number of people over the age of 65 or with underlying health conditions receive the vaccination at their GP clinic.

However, this year, because of the coronavirus pandemic, a new approach is being taken in order to deliver the vaccinations in as safe an environment as possible.

The vaccination clinics will be held at Thornhill College, Limavady High School and Foyle College over three weekends, starting on Saturday, October 3.

The first clinic will be held at Thornhill College.

The clinics are invite-only and people will receive an invite by letter or text from their GP.

The clinics are being managed by the Derry GP Federation, a body which represents local medical centres.

A spokesperson for the federation said the annual vaccination programme was 'challenging' this year because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“The flu vaccination programme has been running for many years now. Although it will not protect specifically against Covid-19, it will be very important in helping to keep people safe, healthy, and away from hospital by preventing secondary infections like pneumonia,” the spokesperson said.

“GP practices have had to modify their clinics to allow patients to attend safely with adequate social distancing to decrease the risk of Covid 19 spread while at the clinics.”

The federation spokesperson said that some local GP practices will have their clinics in their own building if they are able to do so safely.

“However some practices are unable to do so because of the size or layout of their building and have instead worked with the Derry GP Federation to run clinics in some of the local schools where more space will be available for parking, access and social distancing.

“There will be volunteers and ground staff to assist patients and ensure a smooth and safe flow of patients.

“All clinics will require patients to wear a face covering while attending.

“Patients with a cough or fever will not be admitted or vaccinated.

“Timing and queues will be managed to try to minimize the time spent in the clinic.

“All patients will be encouraged to download the StopCOVID NI App (if they haven’t already done so) and to enable bluetooth on their phones while attending the clinics.”

The Derry GP Federation spokesperson thanked the schools involved in the initiative and the volunteers who will help manage the clinics.

“If you normally get your flu vaccine or have turned 65 this year please wait to hear from your practice, if you receive an invitation letter from them please read it carefully as it will give the details you need to know.

“Then please turn up as requested as given the current difficulties it will be more difficult for patients to receive flu vaccination at any other time apart from at these designated clinics.”

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