Larne Market Yard has been made available by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council to allow the roll out of the annual flu vaccination programme by five local GP practices
Larne Market Yard has been made available by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council to allow the roll out of the annual flu vaccination programme by five local GP practices

A partnership approach between five GP practices covering the Larne area and Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, will see around 10,000 eligible patients receive a flu vaccine this autumn.

The practices were faced with the difficult task of planning for the roll out of the annual flu vaccination campaign, made even more challenging due to strict Coronavirus restrictions.

As Shauna McKinley, Practice Manager at Corran Surgery, explains: “With around 10,000 patients eligible to receive a flu vaccination, the need to adhere to social distancing regulations, makes this impossible to deliver within GP surgeries.”

Getting a flu vaccine during 2020/21 is more important than ever because of the ongoing pandemic.

Flu can present with similar symptoms to COVID-19 and has the potential to complicate the contact tracing and surveillance programme.

There is also emerging evidence that co-infection with COVID-19 and flu may lead to a more severe illness.

Reducing the pressure caused by seasonal flu will help preserve the capacity of the health and social care system to manage any potential second wave of COVID-19.

The flu campaign will now be safely delivered by each of the Larne practices after Council made the town’s Market Yard available.

Fully renovated in 2013, Market Yard boasts a large bright airy space with ample onsite parking.

Dr Ian Lalsingh said: “The safety of our patients is, and must always be our first priority, so I am pleased that by working together, we have come up with an excellent solution.”

The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough, Cllr Peter Johnston, added: “Community Planning focuses on the integrated use of resources to support the wellbeing of local residents through partnership working and is central to delivering change locally.”

All patients have been identified as per Department of Health guidance and should receive an invitation letter soon to arrange an appointment.

Please wait for your letter to arrive before contacting your practice for an appointment.

Please note:

  • Do not attend if you or a household family member are unwell with any of the signs or symptoms of Covid 19 or you have been told to isolate
  • Remember to bring your letter to your appointment. If you do not bring your letter you will not be able to have your vaccine – no exceptions
  • Wear suitable clothes which will make it easy for you as once inside the room you should be ready to receive the vaccine (i.e. upper arm exposed) The vaccinations will be given in a public open room in order to comply with infection control guidelines
  • You must wear a face covering
  • If it is raining on the day please come prepared with an umbrella as the queue will be outside for a short period of time
  • Please heed the instructions of the staff who are supervising the patient flow, they are there for your safety
  • Be assured that a socially distanced queuing system and strict infection control measures will be in operation to reduce the risk of Covid 19 in order to keep everyone safe

The practices involved are: Corran Surgery, Victoria Surgery, Inver Surgery, Larne Family Practice, and Dr Black & Lalsingh.