While schools are closed during the national COVID-19 lockdown, an immunisation service has found an innovative way to make sure students still receive their routine school-age vaccinations by using a drive-through clinic.
Run by Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust, the new drive-through experience for students to get their HPV jab was tested this week (Monday, 19 January) at St George’s Secondary School in Broadstairs. The successful pilot saw more than 180 students having their HPV vaccinations in a new, COVID-secure model.
Taking a brief break from home-learning, parents and carers drove their children into the school’s grounds using a one-way system. They were directed into a waiting pod with an immunisation nurse ready to ask some safety questions and administer the vaccination while the young person and the driver stayed in the vehicle.
Around 50 students were seen every hour throughout the morning, with the new initiative being hailed a success after running smoothly and efficiently in its debut. Parents going to the drive-through clinic said it was professional, efficient and worth doing and were so pleased their child was still able to receive their vaccination.
Claire Collard, Lead Immunisation Nurse for east Kent, said: “We are so pleased this new system has worked so successfully. Despite the cold weather, I am so proud of how my team has met this challenge and been able to vaccinate these young people against HPV as if they were in school in normal circumstances.”
Headteacher Adam Mirams also praised the new model, saying: “We are so glad our young people were still able to access their vaccinations, despite schools being closed to the majority of students. It is so important they stay home and stay safe, but still important to receive their school-age vaccinations as well. This new model worked great and keeping everyone involved safe while still delivering a service.”
Following the pilot session at St George’s, the Immunisation Service will now look at how the drive-through model can be rolled out across the KCHT patch.