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Asda to offer thousands of free drive-thru flu jabs to elderly people

Connor Parker
·3-min read
Asda said they were providing the drive-thru jab service because people were still afraid to go to their GP due to the coronavirus pandemic. (PA)
Asda said they were providing the drive-thru jab service because people were still afraid to go to their GP due to the coronavirus pandemic. (PA)

Asda will provide thousands of free flu jabs to all who qualify at drive-thru services at 13 sites across the UK.

The service will be free of charge for those who qualify for the jab on the NHS, such as elderly people, pregnant women, those with underlying health conditions, and also frontline healthcare workers.

Asda said they would be offering the service because research showed three-quarters of Britons were still worried about visiting their GP or pharmacy, and 28% of adults said they were putting off getting the flu jab.

The service will be run by Asda Pharmacy and the use of the drive-thru is aimed to protect vulnerable people from COVID-19.

Read more: Hospital suspends all non-emergency surgery for 48 hours following COVID-19 outbreak

You will not need to leave your car in order to get the jab. (Asda)
You will not need to leave your car in order to get the jab. (Asda)

Contact times will be kept at a minimum and customers will not need to leave their car.

Maq Din, lead pharmacist at Asda Pharmacy said: The sad truth is that there is an increased mortality risk if you catch COVID-19 when you already have the flu.

“As a result, some of our most vulnerable members of society are at twice the risk compared to others.”

The government has pushed for as many people as possible to get flu jabs this year to keep possible hospital admissions as low as possible so more resources can be directed to fighting COVID-19.

Watch: Could AstraZeneca profit from the coronavirus vaccine by July 2021?

It will also help prevent people from getting COVID like symptoms that would put more strain under the already beleaguered test and trace network.

Asda said their research had shown 40% of adults believe that it could be harder to get flu treatment due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The move comes as coronavirus cases soar across the country with indications hospital admissions are also increasing.

Infections increased by 56% last week to 51,475, up from 31,373 the week before.

The testing system is also struggling, just 25.7% of results of in-person tests were turned around in 24 hours, despite Boris Johnson promising this figure would be 100% by the end of June.

Read more: Matt Hancock criticised for repeatedly refusing to answer questions about COVID

The jabs will be free to the most vulnerable in society. (Asda)
The jabs will be free to the most vulnerable in society. (Asda)

Some 68.6% of close contacts of people who tested positive for COVID-19 in England were reached through the NHS Test and Trace system in the week ending September 30, according to the latest figures.

This is the lowest weekly percentage since test and trace began, and is down from 72.5% in the previous week.

Government advisers say at least 80% of positive cases must be reached for the system to be effective.

Read more: COVID killed three times as many people as flu and pneumonia combined this year

Helen Stokes-Lampard, chairwoman of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, said the “indications are not looking good” about the current direction of the pandemic.

She told BBC Breakfast: “In the last month alone we have gone from a few hundred a people a day in hospital with coronavirus, to thousands.

“Right now we have got over 3,100 people in hospital with coronavirus around the UK.”

Customers can book their jabs on Asda’s website.

The list of participating stores are:

  • Accrington

  • Bodmin

  • Eastbourne

  • Gosport

  • Hartlepool

  • Hyde

  • Nuneaton

  • Old Kent Road

  • Oldbury

  • Pilsworth

  • Sheffield

  • South Shields

  • Wakefield Durkar