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Drive-through vaccination clinics launched for Sussex teens
10 August 2020

Drive-through vaccination clinics for Sussex young people


Hundreds of teenagers whose regular immunisations were disrupted because of COVID-19 school closures will get their jabs over the summer holidays thanks to innovative drive-through clinics.

Many young people missed out on their HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccinations, offered to all 12 and 13 years olds in Year 8, when schools closed.

Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust’s Immunisation team will catch up over the summer by inviting teenagers and their parents to drive-through clinics that will be set up in school car parks across Sussex.

It follows a successful pilot in the car park of Brighton General Hospital where more than 20 young people were vaccinated.

Rosanna Raven, SCFT’s Clinical Service Manager for Immunisation, said: “We are looking forward to rolling this model out to participating schools across Sussex. As a service we are passionate about ensuring young people have access to vaccinations even at this time, where access and service delivery from our point of view is so much more challenging.”

Feedback from families using the service has been overwhelmingly positive.

One parent said: “It’s a very slick operation. There were a lot of nurses and they distracted my son, asked really nice questions, and made it a very good experience in an abnormal situation.”

Another parent involved in the pilot added: “I thought it was ingenious. I didn’t know that it was even a possibility, and it was a way to reach children around the city to offer vaccinations.”

All appointments for vaccinations at the drive-through clinics are pre-booked. Parents arriving on site for their allotted appointment time will be met by a member of the team, who will be wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and will administer the vaccinations whilst the young person remains seated in the car.

Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust is the largest provider of Community NHS healthcare across Brighton and Hove, East Sussex, High Weald Lewes and Havens and West Sussex. The Trust’s Immunisation Service works with existing NHS services such as GP practices and schools to improve the uptake of immunisations for children and hard to reach groups. As well as routine vaccinations, the team immunise more than 90,000 children with the flu vaccination in schools and clinics every year.

The HPV vaccine helps protect against cancers caused by HPV including cervical cancer and mouth and throat (head and neck) cancers. In England, girls and boys aged 12 to 13 years are routinely offered the first HPV vaccination when they’re in Year 8. The second dose is normally offered 6 to 12 months after the first.