THOUSANDS of people have taken advantage of a drive-thru flu vaccination service at the Port of Poole.

Poole Harbour Commissioners facilitated a drive-thru service at the port for patients eligible for the vaccination by the Poole Central Primary Care Network (PCN), with the final sessions held on November 8.

PCN is a collaboration between six GP practices in Poole, aiming to collectively deliver services to and support the health of the community.

Member practices are Rosemary Medical Centre, Evergreen Oak and Creekmoor Surgeries, Lifeboat Quay Medical Centre, Poole Town Surgery, Family Medical Services and all four branches of the Adam Practice (Lytchett Matravers, Upton, Hamworthy and Poole).

An update on the Adam Practice website said: “As a potential second wave of Covid-19 spreads across the country, patient safety is our top priority.

“Although some small walk-through clinics have taken place, with nearly 30,000 people across our network likely to be eligible for vaccination this winter (including the 50-64 age group that has been announced by the government) we have had to put in place a process which can handle this number of vaccinations in a safe manner.

“This new process is needed to ensure we safely distance patients at our clinics and patient safety is our priority.”

The drive-thru clinic enabled patients to minimise their exposure to other people or buildings during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The only contact is at a car window with a trained medical professional, wearing the appropriate PPE.

Patients who can only attend on foot were vaccinated safely in a separate indoor area with all appropriate distancing measures in place.

Dave Laut, port safety and security manager at the Port of Poole said: “Some 1,400 people were vaccinated at the port in the first drive through session alone.

“Drive-thru clinics have been successfully used in many parts of the country and PHC are only too happy to do our bit to help protect the community.

“We have considered and put into place several measures at our drive-through vaccination site, so patients can be assured it’s safe to visit.”