Posted Wednesday 22 September 2021
Kingston University's Lab in a Lorry mobile education centre has been transformed into a Jab in a Lorry vaccination clinic to offer students a first dose of the Pfizer vaccine as they arrive on campus for the start of the academic year.
Based at the Penrhyn Road campus, the Lab in a Lorry – usually used by academics and outreach officers to open up the world of science to school children across the capital – has been temporarily converted into a pop-up vaccination centre. It will open its doors to new and returning students during several sessions over the coming fortnight.
As part of an ongoing partnership with the Kingston Primary Care Network, the pop-up centre will provide space for healthcare workers from Fairhill Medical Practice, Kingston Health Centre and St Alban's Medical Centre to vaccinate students who haven't yet received a first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.
Among those making the most of the opportunity to get a jab on Tuesday was international student Maya Arvindsinh Parmar, who is starting an MSc in International Business and Management this month. "I was a bit nervous beforehand, but the doctors were so calming, kind and helpful," she said. "It was a quick and easy process and it feels good done my bit to help protect myself and everyone around me. It's fantastic the University has made it so easy to access the vaccination by providing this facility."
Students will be able to head along to further pop-up vaccination clinics at the Penrhyn Road campus this Friday, with other sessions planned for Monday and Friday next week. To avoid missing out, they are being encouraged to book in advance to guarantee a slot.
Co-Clinical Director of the Kingston Primary Care Network Dr Richard Van Mellaerts, a GP at the University's partner Fairhill Medical Practice, said getting vaccinated would help support students to get as fully involved as possible both academically and socially during the coming academic year, while reducing the risk to themselves and those around them.
"Continuing our partnership with the University through pop-up vaccination clinics for students is another important way we can work together to support the health and wellbeing of the whole Kingston community," he said. "While many young people have already come forward for their first vaccine, my message to those who haven't got around to it yet is that now is the ideal time. The sooner they have the jab, the sooner they will be protected. Vaccination is a safe and effective way of helping keep both them and everyone in the community safe and well.
"Working with the University throughout the pandemic has been enormously fruitful for our practices," Dr Van Mellaerts added. "We wouldn't have been able to make the progress we have vaccinating so many people in the local community without this partnership."
With the Fairhill practice being the University's partner health centre, those receiving their jab on campus would also be able to register with the GP practice for any other medical services they might need while at university.
Interim Pro Vice-Chancellor for Education Professor Sue Reece said offering the pop-up vaccination service was part of the University's commitment to prioritising the health and wellbeing of its students and staff and providing the best possible campus experience as the academic year got under way.
"Our students have made an outstanding contribution throughout the pandemic, supporting the community through volunteering, working on the frontline and looking out for each another," she said. "As we welcome both new and returning students back to campus, we want to make sure that anyone yet to have a Covid-19 vaccine has easy access to one. The vaccination clinics are just one of the many measures we have put in place to help ensure our campuses remain a safe and welcoming environment in which students can thrive and get the most out of their studies this semester."