Supermarket Asda has launched a free NHS drive-through flu jab service for eligible people at 13 UK stores.
Anyone entitled to free jabs – such as the elderly, frontline NHS staff, and pregnant women – can use the service.
People regarded as non-vulnerable can get jabs for £8, which Asda claims is the cheapest on the market.
The drive-through jabs will be offered in Asda car parks, and come after reports people are put off visiting GPs and pharmacies due to Covid-19 worries.
Asda says the initiative, which began on Thursday, is the first of its kind in the UK.
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.
“We are putting a number of measures in place at our drive-through flu jab centres , so patients can be assured that it is safe to visit – and they won’t even need to leave their car to get a jab.
He said contact time during the vaccine process will be kept to a minimum, and drivers and passengers will not have to leave their cars. Customers must pre-book, and will be given a time slot and a bay to park when turning up.
Asda said its own research had shown that 28% of UK adults said they were currently putting off getting a flu jab over concerns about visiting GPs and pharmacies for fear of coming into contact with someone suffering from Covid-19.
The booking procedure is:
- Find the nearest stores with a pharmacy using the store locator
- Telephone the store for an appointment – it cannot be booked online
- During the consultation over the phone, people will be given a time slot and detail
The service is available at these Asda stores: Accrington; Bodmin; Eastbourne; Gosport; Hartlepool; Hyde; Nuneaton; Old Kent Road (London); Oldbury; Pilsworth; Sheffield; South Shields; Wakefield Durkar.