Flu season is here and there is an increase in people looking to get immunized, so a Kelowna clinic got creative in how it prepares people for the seasonal flu.
CGB Medical director and family physician Dr. Janet Evans said with physical distancing and disinfecting requirements, coupled with an increased demand for vaccinations, giving people the flu shot in the office just wasn’t ideal.
“We realized that we needed a safe way to immunize the people that we needed to immunize,” she said.
“We needed an innovative approach to try to get it done, so this is what we see: a drive-thru immunization clinic.”
Evans said this is the first drive-thru immunization clinic of the season, with around three more to come for CGB Medical patients, depending on the clinic’s vaccine supply. For patients who may not have a vehicle or who have children, they do also offer the shots in the clinic.
Trista Smith, executive director of the Central Okanagan Division of Family Practice, said due to the COVID-19 pandemic, clinics throughout the region have had to reinvent the way they deliver influenza immunization.
“From what we know, yes, there are a few other clinics that are doing drive-thru immunization for their patients,” he said.
“There are also other clinics that are modifying their workflow in their offices to accommodate the demand and balancing public health requirements.”
Smith said that includes opening on the weekends, having earlier opening hours and in some cases closing later in the day.
Evans said that so far, the feedback has been positive.
“They’ve really enjoyed the ability to get it done, and get it done quickly. It’s been so positive that I would actually consider in the future doing this pandemic aside as it’s quite efficient for people,” she said.
Patients interested in getting their flu shot at the drive-thru clinic must sign up for an appointment. Check with your health care provider to see if your clinic offers a drive-thru option.