Posted Monday 28 June 2021
A walk-in vaccination service at Kingston University saw hundreds of students, staff and young people aged 18 and over from across the borough visit campus to receive their first doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
The two-day public walk-in service was held at the University's community vaccination hub, which is run in partnership with two local Primary Care Networks and South West London CCG. It formed part of efforts to help support Kingston Council's surge vaccination programme to combat rising Covid-19 rates in the borough, particularly among young people.
The University has been providing a regular space for six GP practices to vaccinate patients since December, with the current site – a 10-station space in the Galsworthy building on the Penrhyn Road campus – opening its doors in January.
On Thursday June 17 and Friday June 18, a team of healthcare workers from Churchill Medical Centre were on hand to administer vaccinations at the University's first walk-in clinic, which was open to any adults in the eligible groups yet to have a jab to queue up to receive their first dose of the Pfizer/BionNTech vaccine.
Alongside the walk-in service for members of the public, students and staff from across the University were also able to book a slot to be vaccinated over the two days, with large numbers taking up the opportunity to receive their vaccination on campus during the first week that the national eligibility criteria dropped to include anyone 18 or over.
The University's Vice-Chancellor Professor Spier visited the vaccination centre during the walk-in service and was delighted to see so many people taking up the opportunity to receive a jab during a surge testing and vaccination drive across the borough as a result of increasing rates of Covid-19 infection linked to the national spread of the Delta variant.
"Kingston University has been supporting the Royal Borough of Kingston and our local GP partners since December by offering space on our campus for a vaccination centre and we're very proud to be playing our part in helping keep Kingston safe," he said. "We've had a fantastic response from students and staff booking their slot to get vaccinated as well as from people across the local area walking up to queue for their jabs over the two days. Speaking to some of the students who came down it was clear to see how important it was to them to do their bit by getting vaccinated, which will help us all to return to normal life as soon as possible."
The call for young people to come forward for their jab was echoed by Feisal Haji, president of the Union of Kingston Students. "Vaccines are our route to exiting this pandemic and we've been promoting the vaccine booking to students from across the University once they were able to do so," he said. "It makes me feel proud that people want to take part, not just for themselves but for their friends, family and the country. For the pandemic to end all of us have a responsibility, a part we can play, and the University is taking its responsibility seriously with the vaccination centre."
Following the rollout of vaccines at the University's walk-in operation, Iona Lidington, Kingston Council's Director of Public Health, highlighted the importance of the collaborative effort of local organisations and the authority. "At Kingston Council we've been working incredibly closely with our partners and communities across the borough throughout the pandemic," she said. "That strong collaborative response and partnership working has been invaluable in ensuring we were able to respond really swiftly to the recent rise in our Covid rates, pulling together to make testing and vaccinations available and accessible to as many people as possible, to help keep our communities safe.
"With everyone aged 18 and over now eligible to receive a first dose of the vaccine, it's been fantastic to see Kingston University supporting local GPs in the effort to vaccinate as many people as possible, with walk-in clinics such as this one allowing so many of our local residents, as well as students and staff from the University, the chance to get their jabs quickly and easily at the Penrhyn Road campus."