Patients drive in for a jab
An Albany medical practice swapped its waiting room for a carpark at the weekend, delivering more than 400 flu vaccinations to patients at a drive-through clinic.
A steady stream of cars flowed into Albany Leisure and Aquatic Centre on Saturday as patients queued to receive their annual jab from their vehicles.
The pop-up clinic was the first of its kind for Southern Regional Medical Group in a bid to bolster community immunity amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year, the Federal Government has secured its largest supply of vaccines and is offering free vaccinations to vulnerable groups including over 65s and children aged from six months to five years.
SRMG practice director Dr Clark Wasiun said the group had already extended its daily opening hours and was offering weekend clinics to meet demand.
“We do have a rush every winter for people wanting flu shots but this year there has been an even higher demand than usual and it is not always easy to keep up with that demand, so we are certainly trying our best,” he said.
Dr Wasiun urged Albany residents to get the jab “sooner rather than later”.
He said it was especially important to get vaccinated to reduce the strain on a healthcare system working hard to combat COVID-19.
“If there is a lot of influenza in town and potentially a lot of beds taken up, that puts a lot of pressure on the healthcare system so we are trying to keep influenza and the effects of that out of the hospital system,” he said.
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