ELIGIBLE Residents of Darlington are urged to get their flu shot ahead of the planned “bad flu season” at one of the city’s many vaccination centers starting in early October.
General practitioner practices will contact eligible patients directly from this week to let them know how and where they can make an appointment.
This will include details of the city’s new flu vaccination center at The Old Exchange on Barnard Street, which will offer flu shots and Covid boosters from early October.
Head of the Darlington Primary Health Care Clinical Site, Dr Kirsty Walker said, “With the lifting of restrictions and increased socialization of people, we are aware that this winter there will be a big flu epidemic, we therefore urge people to protect themselves and others by getting their flu shot.
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Bruce Wetherill, 92, of Darlington, celebrated his birthday while receiving his flu shot and Covid booster, and said: ‘The flu and Covid can be very serious, you don’t want to catch things like that , especially when you get older. It was a very quick and easy process to get my jabs on so I absolutely recommend it to everyone.
Eligible people include anyone over the age of 50, residents of nursing homes or other care facilities, pregnant women, frontline health and social workers, caregivers and personal assistants for a person with a personal health budget and people of all ages belonging to a clinical risk group.
Pfizer Covid boosters are available on this site.
People who make an appointment for their flu vaccination at the new site will also be offered their Covid booster at the same time, but only if it has been at least six months since their second dose.
For those who come for their flu shot and it’s not yet six months since their second Covid vaccination, they can book their Covid booster after receiving their flu shot on the spot.
Dr Kirsty Walker said: “The management has been very good, on average 756 people are vaccinated per weekday and 612 every Saturday and Sunday.”
The center is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. all week and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends to accommodate people with busy work schedules.
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Penny Spring, director of public health at Darlington Borough Council, said: “It’s great to offer residents the ability to book their flu shots and reminders in the city center.”
Dr Amanda Riley, Clinical Director of Darlington Primary Care Network and Executive Director of Primary Healthcare Darlington, said: “This year it is more important than ever to protect ourselves and each other by getting vaccinated against. flu, as we expect. a particularly bad influenza season.
“For those who are eligible to receive their Covid booster at the same time as their flu shot, rest assured that it is perfectly safe to have both at the same time.”
Anyone who is eligible and registered with a general practitioner in Darlington can make an appointment at The Old Exchange via the link in the text message sent by their doctor’s office.
Patients without internet access can book by calling 01325 238235 Monday through Friday.
Reminder appointments will be available to book in Darlington at participating community pharmacies and immunization centers, such as Cockerton Pharmacy through the National Online Reservation Service and by calling 119.
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