A drive-thru vaccine clinic set to open in Cork in the coming weeks will depend on increased vaccine supply, according to a GP involved in the scheme.
The clinic, established and run by local Cork GPs, will open in Midleton on October 10 if vaccine stock is sufficient.
Dr Mike Thompson who was involved in setting up the initiative said the clinic has the potential to vaccinate hundreds of people per day with sufficient stock.
However, amid reported international shortages and delays, there is a concern the clinic may not open at all.
“We postponed opening the clinic for two weeks because of international supply issues,” said Dr Thompson.
“Usually by now, we’d have most of our vaccinations done.
“We would certainly have tried to get it finished by early October but now we’re not starting until early October,” he added.
“If it’s delayed much longer, we may not even open the clinic.
“This clinic has the potential to be a good news story if the supply of vaccines is given to us.”
If opened, the drive-thru vaccine clinic will become the first of its kind in Ireland.
“I got the idea from the drive-thru testing,” said Dr Thompson.
“We did a bit of research and there has never been a drive-thru vaccine clinic in Ireland before.
“The Centre for Disease Control in Atlanta advise on how to set one up so we followed their guidelines and some from the Royal College in England,” he added.
“A group of us met and decided to set it up.
“The army is erecting the marquee for us and Tom Kelly from Market Green has kindly given us the site.
“It’s great to see the buy-in from the community in that sense.”
Dr Thompson explained that demand for the flu vaccine is going to be high this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The fact that we’re making it quick and easily accessible here at the drive-thru clinic means demand will be even higher.
“We’re planning on opening for six weekends and it will be staffed by local GPs and nurses.
“It’s good because it reduces the number of appointments and calls to GP clinics for this vaccine, and frees up capacity there for other issues,” he added.
“It is also convenient for patients and it’s quick and safe.
“It’s also a quick, cost-effective way to ensure much of the population have the vaccine and are getting it in a safe environment.” The drive-thru clinic, found at www.flu-vaccine.ie, will allow people to check their eligibility and book their appointment before driving to the clinic at their allotted time.
Patients will then undergo a temperature check before receiving the vaccination in their car.
They will be asked to wait in their car for 15 minutes in a nearby car park before leaving.