Letter from Sally Hawken, Cornwall Council Portfolio Holder for Children, Wellbeing and Public Health

Dear Voluntary Organisations

To support Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly’s health and care system carry out flu vaccinations for residents during the pandemic Cornwall Council has joined forces with our primary care colleagues, pharmacists and health and care teams to offer four, new, drive-through flu vaccination sites across Cornwall during flu season.  

Patients and staff from participating GP surgeries and employers can book a drive-through flu jab appointment online or by phone, drive to the location, receive their vaccination jabs in a Covid-safe way and be able to leave shortly after being monitored for any reactions.

The new drive-through sites are at:

  • Stithians Showground
  • Eden Project, St Austell
  • Royal Cornwall Showground, Wadebridge
  • China Fleet Country Club, Saltash

Not all GP practices have signed up for the drive-through sites, with many making their own arrangements. People will not be expected to travel long distances to these sites.

Who is eligible?

These facilities are part of a menu of flu vaccination delivery options available this autumn and winter for patients who are eligible for a flu jab and have been invited from a participating GP surgery or pharmacy.

They will also be offered to all frontline health and care staff .

The list of those who are eligible has been given on the Public Health England memo about flu vaccinations this winter, and includes:

All those previously eligible for free flu vaccines

  • Aged 65+
  • Clinical at-risk group
  • Pregnant women
  • Children aged 2 up to Year 6 – top of primary school
  • Frontline health and social care workers

And in addition, this year:

  • Households of people who were shielding
  • Children of Year 7 (aged 11 on 31 August 2020)
  • Health and social care workers employed through Direct Payments of Personal Health Budgets to deliver domiciliary care to patients and service users

You can read the full list on the Memo, here.

How will it work?

The approach is designed to pool staffing and resources more effectively so flu vaccinations can be given to more residents safely.

It will complement pre-existing flu jab offers in GP surgeries, occupational health settings and pharmacies.

The drive-through sites are a trial and all practices are organising their clinics differently this year to keep people safe.

All patients should book their appointments through their practice as usual and their GPs will be able to tell them where the clinics are located.

Those giving vaccinations at the drive-through locations will be GPs from surgeries who have expressed an interest to use the sites; occupational health staff and peer vaccinators from the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust and Cornwall Foundation Trust; pharmacists; and additional staff from across the health system such as Brook, medical and paramedic students.

The drive-though sites will each have capacity for four lanes of vehicle traffic, as well as appropriate storage for vaccines, plus handwashing and toilet facilities. A paramedic will be at each site, to respond to anyone who needs medical attention until an ambulance arrives. Those for whom the drive through option is not appropriate will be able to still have jab at their own GP as in normal years

If you work with groups that are particularly vulnerable to flu, (see the list above), please encourage them to discuss flu vaccinations with their health professionals.

By continuing to work together we can help to ensure the flu immunisation programme meets the targets for the eligible cohort, which has been extended to reflect the risk of flu and Covid-19.

Best wishes,

Sally Hawken

Portfolio Holder for Children, Wellbeing and Public Health

Please do not contact Cornwall VSF to book a flu jab – speak to your GP.