Drive-Thru Flu Vaccination Clinics Open For Business

Some Aussies can now get their flu shot from the comfort of their own car.

The launch of drive-thru flu vaccinations come as health authorities fear the potentially deadly combination of influenza and coronavirus this winter.

In South Australia, the state endured its worst ever flu season in 2017, with 28,486 notified cases and 124 deaths.

In March that year, there were already 894 confirmed cases of the flu in the state -- but 2020 paints a grim picture of what's to come, with 1427 people already diagnosed in SA and we're only in April.

Most of the state's GP's are starting to receive a supply of flu vaccines this week.

Some are going to new levels to deliver the shots to those who need them ahead of flu season.

At least three drive-thru flu shot clinics have popped up across Adelaide, giving patients quick access to the vaccine from the safety of their own car.

This is in line with social distancing recommendations prompted by the outbreak of the coronavirus.

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A man gets his flu shot behind the wheel at Belair Medical Clinic. Image: 10 News First

Belair Medical Clinic in the Adelaide Hills is offering drive-thru vaccines.

Despite only launching the service on Tuesday, demand from the community has soared.

"The response has been phenomenal," Practice Manager Kirsty Tippett told 10 News First.

"Today we've got six (people) per quarter of an hour, and we seem to be zinging through them!"

Patients must pre-book their appointment as usual. They also must wait in the clinic car park for 15 minutes after the dose has been administered, to ensure they don't have an allergic reaction to the vaccine.

One of the clinic's GP's, Dr Helen Roxburgh, said the potential for people, especially the elderly, to contract both coronavirus and the flu together is a concern.

South Australia has recorded 385 cases of COVID-19 so far.

"We always have a number of hospital admissions and even some deaths from the flu every year," Roxburgh told 10 News First.

"This year, with the COVID-19 that's taking a lot of our hospital beds and a lot of our medical care, we don't want to have anybody extra with the flu in the hospital.

"It could be fatal with either of those illnesses alone, let alone together."

Roxburgh is urging those over the age of 65 to get their flu shot from their GP, not the chemist, because doctors have access to a special dose that provides extra protection to the vulnerable.

Most GPs should have access to the vaccine from this week.



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Feature image: Getty

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