Drive through flu jabs in IKEA and Crystal Palace to be rolled out as the NHS plans to vaccinate more people than ever before in Croydon

The NHS is pulling out all the stops to make getting a flu jab safe and convenient for people in Croydon this winter, with more people than ever being offered a free vaccine.

This year it is particularly important for those most at risk to get vaccinated to protect themselves and their families.

Drive through flu vaccinations clinics at IKEA and Crystal Palace FC, are part of extensive plans to ensure everyone eligible can get their jab in a safe and convenient way. The drive through will be by appointment only, those eligible should contact their GP for an appointment.

With the risk of both flu and Covid-19 circulating this winter, the Government has announced plans to significantly expand the number of people eligible, with around 190,000 people expected to be offered a jab in Croydon.

Flu jabs for those who are eligible can be booked through the GP practices or local pharmacist, those who are eligible may also receive a letter or a phone call to remind them to book in for their flu jab, including information about where to go to get the vaccine.

Dr Emily Symington, Croydon GP, NHS South West London Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “This year will see the biggest vaccination programme the NHS has ever run, however it will only be successful if our residents and patients all do their part and get vaccinated.

“The NHS in Croydon has pulled out all the stops to make getting a flu jab easy and safe – not only working with GP practices and pharmacies, but private companies across Croydon, many offering their support at no cost.

“Getting a free NHS flu jab is a quick and simple way that people can help to save lives and I would urge anyone who is eligible to take up the offer to help protect themselves and their family and friends.”

Dr Gaj Sivadhas, Chair of Croydon GP Collaborative, added: “More than ever, the flu jab is vital to keep us fit and healthy and avoid spreading flu to our loved ones. Croydon GP Practices are carefully planning to vaccinate all our eligible patients whilst making sure we can keep everyone safe.

“We are thrilled to be working with IKEA to use their underground car park and Palace for Life Foundation, the official charity of Crystal Palace FC, to provide flu clinics to give patients the flu vaccination in the safety and comfort of their own car. With the good transport links from the local tram stop, people are also able to attend this site by use of public transport, bikes or on foot.

“We strongly urge eligible Croydon patients to contact their GP practice to book an appointment at their practice or at another location to protect themselves, their family and our community.”

A free flu vaccine will be available to:

  • people aged over 65
  • pregnant women
  • people with some pre-existing conditions including those at-risk aged 2 – 64  
  • who are on the shielded patient list and members of their household
  • Children aged two – three and all school year groups up to year seven

NHS across all the boroughs in South West London has undertaken a comprehensive survey of the population on what would encourage them or others to get a jab this year and what is clear is that people want it to be safe, easy and accessible – with extended clinic times and using convenient non-traditional locations.

School vaccination teams, maternity services, GPs, nurses in the community and local pharmacies across Croydon are gearing up to provide this vital protection in a safe and convenient way.

Appointments will be planned to minimise waiting times and maintain social distancing, patients will be given information in advance on what to expect at their appointment. This will also include services which are usually available, including appointments at pharmacies, GP practices if appropriate and visits to those who are unable to leave their home.

The flu vaccination is available every year on the NHS to help protect adults and children at risk from flu and its complications. More information is available on the NHS website – https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/flu-influenza-vaccine/.

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Background:

  • This video shows what local people can expect once they have booked an appointment with their GP at a drive through flu clinic at IKEA https://drive.google.com/file/d/1crV7aV0BRdWA0usuyt4jbDA76EBuSjjC/view?invite=CN7zt9wG&ts=5f54d325
  • Residents should contact their GP or local pharmacist to find out more about the FREE flu vaccination.
  • The IKEA drive thru will open on Tuesday 22 September 2020 – not all GP practices will be present every day – appointments are bookable in advance only through GP practices.