Queues in Midleton for Ireland's first drive-through flu vaccine clinic

Queues in Midleton for Ireland's first drive-through flu vaccine clinic

Ireland’s first drive-through flu vaccine clinic at the Market Green Retail Park, Midleton, Co Cork. The clinic opened on Saturday morning with 390 appointments and a further 124 on Sunday morning. Picture Dan Linehan

Ireland’s first drive-through flu vaccine clinic, recently established at the Market Green Retail Park in Midleton, is busy this weekend. 

The clinic opened on Saturday morning with 390 appointments and a further 124 on Sunday morning.

The clinic was established by Dr Mike Thompson and other GPs in the area, to provide the flu vaccine to patients.

 Dr. Mike Thompson at Ireland’s first drive-through flu vaccine clinic at the Market Green Retail Park. Included are team members, Tara Thompson, Dr.Sean McCarthy, Nurse Aimee Quirke, Dr. Clare Cooney, Noelle Sloane, and medical student Glen Curtin. Picture Dan Linehan
Dr. Mike Thompson at Ireland’s first drive-through flu vaccine clinic at the Market Green Retail Park. Included are team members, Tara Thompson, Dr.Sean McCarthy, Nurse Aimee Quirke, Dr. Clare Cooney, Noelle Sloane, and medical student Glen Curtin. Picture Dan Linehan

The drive-thru clinic has the potential to vaccinate around 1,000 people over a weekend but is being limited by the international flu vaccine shortages, Dr Thompson explained.

“I think there will be enough stock - there were two million doses ordered - but I think it will be delayed,” he told The Echo recently.

“It takes around 10 days for the vaccine to work and peak influenza season usually starts just after Christmas so we do have time.” 

However, Dr Thompson warned that running large-scale vaccination programmes may become very difficult for GPs in winter.

“Traditionally, we try to get the vaccinations done before Halloween because general practice is just so busy after that,” he said.

“We are hoping that there will be less flu this year because of the public health measures people are using such as social distancing, mask wearing and hand hygiene.

“Typically, general practice is just putting out fires in November, December and January - it’s reactive only and it will be hard to get routine vaccines done,” he added.

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