This week, the main hall of the cultural center in Hilvarenbeek has been set up for the flu shot vaccination. This year, many more people than usual have registered for such a shot. According to GP Marcel Rouwenhorst, this is 10 to 20 percent more. Because of those large numbers – and the strict corona measures – many GPs had to divert to larger locations. But who thinks that the shot also helps against corona: “That’s nonsense.”
“It’s the fear,” says Marcel Rouwenhorst. “Nobody wants to get sick in these times of corona.” With this explanation, the Diessen family doctor tries to explain the large increase in patients who come to get a flu shot this week. “You can now also see people who otherwise doubt the usefulness of the flu shot participating in the vaccination.”
Ten to twenty percent more
What is certain is that hundreds more flu shots are taken in Hilvarenbeek than in other years. “About ten to twenty percent more.” This brings in numbers of patients for whom the GP practices are too small due to the corona measures. That is why the GPs in Hilvarenbeek rented the main hall of the cultural center. “But for this vaccination round, we even work together with the Elisabeth-TweeSteden Hospital in Tilburg,” says Rouwenhorst, who is also a board member of the Midden-Brabant GP circle.
He outlines how in ‘normal’ times getting the flu shot in general practice is a ‘pleasant’ moment. “We usually also have something tasty ready for everyone.” Corona also put an end to that fun this year. No long lines with cheerfully chatting waiting people, but four ‘test streets’ where everyone goes through separately. Walking routes have been created so that patients do not meet each other. The assistants wear splash guards over their mouth caps and disinfect their hands after each patient.
More time needed per patient
They have spent four evenings in Hilvarenbeek for the flu vaccination. “We now need at least a few minutes per patient”, says Marcel Rouwenhorst. “That is much more than in normal times when patients pass you in a long line and you immediately put an injection.”
The GPs are happy with the high turnout. General practitioner Durkje de Vries: “Flu and corona, they are so similar. But the less people get the flu, the less the confusion surrounding the question: who has the common flu and who has corona?”
Anyone who might think that the flu shot might also protect against corona to some extent gets them out of their dream with a resolute ‘That’s absolutely nonsense’. “It’s really something else.”
Tremendous interest in a flu shot: