At the end of October the Sun Peaks Community Health Centre will vaccinate 1,000 people for the flu over just two days.
The clinic, which last year only administered a fraction of the planned doses for 2020, has organized a drive through adult flu clinic, open only to registered patients.
While in regular years most doses of the influenza vaccine are administered through public health programs, the current pandemic’s stress on resources means the community clinic is stepping up to the plate.
Organized by executive director Laura Bantock, patients will be able to book an appointment in advance, arrive at their scheduled time with a completed consent form, be vaccinated through their car window and wait 15 minutes in case of adverse reaction before leaving.
The event will take place Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 and take over P2, the parking lot in front of the clinic.
“We’ve never attempted anything like this,” Bantock said. “But it’s probably one of the most important things we can do for our patients.”
Vaccines will be administered with the help of current University of British Columbia residents working at the clinic and a nurse with full time physicians on site in case of emergency.
Bantock explained they are being cautious due to the volume of vaccines and rural location.
Bantock said while the vaccine is always important, this year it’s especially so as it can help reduce the amount of people hospitalized for influenza, keeping room available in hospitals and less stress on the healthcare system as COVID-19 cases continue.
“The aim here is to get as many people vaccinated as possible,” she said. “It’s not going to do all of our patients but it’s going to make a dent for sure.”
Children will not be eligible to be vaccinated at the event, nor will those unable to attend in a vehicle.
Bantock said those groups, or those without a B.C. personal health care number, will still be able to be vaccinated at local pharmacies or at other, smaller, events hosted by the health centre. More information for special populations is also available by calling the clinic.
“To make this as easy as possible we’ll need everybody’s cooperation to make sure they arrive with the consent form filled out, and stay in your vehicle and don’t get out, we don’t want anybody out of their car.”
No drop in appointments are available. Slots can be booked through the newly launched Health Myself Patient Portal in advance and a consent form will be sent.
Bantock asked that anyone feeling unwell before the event or the day off not attend, the shots can only be administered to people who feel well.