Because the complications of having both flu and COVID in the population are unknown and the symptoms of both have some similarities, in order to reduce the  risk of overwhelming the NHS there is a need to ensure good uptake of the flu vaccine this year – which is also being expanded to be offered to more groups.  The bulk of the vaccination programme is undertaken by GPs and for many people, that is the route by which they will receive it.

However, there is a second pilot programme to help take the pressure off GPs where possible, as well as front-line health and care staff to receive their vaccinations, by running three (or possibly more) drive-thru vaccination centres at Stithians Showground, Eden Project, and Royal Cornwall Showground, plus a possible site in the East (TBC).

The volunteers will meet/greet and check in, marshal patients around the site to the vaccination stations, and then check-up post vaccine before people leave (it is recommended to stay on-site for 10 mins for post-vaccine recovery).

Booking will be online and vaccinations begin from 1st October for those aged 65+ and then those aged 50+ from November.  The clinicians on site will perform the actual vaccinations and there will be on-site wellbeing facilities and all COVID-safe procedures followed. There will be no close contact with patients and the work is outside in the fresh air. The greatest need for volunteer support is on the sites, but there are also opportunities to volunteer in the call centre to take booking for patients who do not have access/don’t use the internet. This will be Monday-Friday 8-1 in Truro.

If you think anyone would be interested in helping, here is the link that volunteers can use to let Cornwall Council know they are interested and what their availability is: https://www.netigate.se/a/s.aspx?s=908239X239552386X98596