Creative approaches help get flu shots safely to Vancouver residents

Physicians in the Vancouver area say the planning and execution of this year’s unusual flu shot clinics will also help when it’s time to roll out a COVID-19 vaccine.
By: Alison Larabie Chase
November 17, 2020
Photo by Vancouver Division of Family Practice - Bayswater Family Practice in Kitsilano

Ever gotten a flu shot on a sidewalk or in a parking lot? Many people in the Vancouver area did just that recently, as doctors in that city employed outside-the-box thinking to make sure people could safely receive their influenza immunizations this year. With the ongoing global pandemic, crowded indoor flu clinics were clearly off the table, so physicians had to find new approaches and learn from any complications, so that when a COVID-19 vaccine does arrive, they’ll be ready to distribute it in a similarly safe manner.

As one example, Bayswater Family Practice in the Kitsilano neighbourhood closed four parking spaces outside its clinic and immunized patients out of doors in late October. In Burnaby, a maternity clinic decided to provide the flu shot to the pregnant women who receive care there, even though they haven’t done so in the past. A new fridge and an order of vaccines later, they were able to get the job done.

Med students at the University of British Columbia also volunteered to support family doctors across Vancouver with flu shot administration and about 75 of them have been put to work in various ways. Doctors say it’s been very helpful and they’re glad for the support.

Source: Doctors of BC

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