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COVID-19: volunteers rush to help NHS staff administer vaccine

Mass vaccination centres open, and nurse praises public’s ‘amazing’ take-up of vaccine so far

Mass vaccination centres open, and nurse praises publics amazing take-up of vaccine so far

Tens of thousands of volunteers have expressed an interest in helping NHS staff with the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out, as mass vaccination centres across the country opened their doors to the public this week.

The UK COVID-19 vaccines delivery plan announced by the government states that, in addition to 80,000 NHS staff helping with the roll-out, 200,000 people have either been recruited or have expressed an interest in helping to deliver the vaccine, including trained volunteers from the St John Ambulance and NHS Volunteer Responders scheme.

Mass vaccination centres open, and nurse praises public’s ‘amazing’ take-up of vaccine so far

People queue to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at the NHS Nightingale facility in London. Picture: PA/Alamy

Tens of thousands of volunteers have expressed an interest in helping NHS staff with the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out, as mass vaccination centres across the country opened their doors to the public this week.

The UK COVID-19 vaccines delivery plan announced by the government states that, in addition to 80,000 NHS staff helping with the roll-out, 200,000 people have either been recruited or have expressed an interest in helping to deliver the vaccine, including trained volunteers from the St John Ambulance and NHS Volunteer Responders scheme.

RCN backs use of volunteer vaccinators – but insists safety is paramount

The RCN has previously stated that it supports expanding the workforce to assist in delivering the vaccine, provided that ‘vaccinators are suitably trained and have the necessary support and supervision to deliver the programme safely’.

The vaccine will be delivered in large-scale vaccination centres, which are expected to deliver thousands of vaccinations every week at sites such as football stadiums, hospital hubs and local facilities set up by general practice teams.

Nursing director praises public’s response to vaccination programme

A nurse leader has described the take-up of the vaccine by the public as ‘amazing’.

Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust director of nursing Sarah Browne, speaking at a mass vaccination centre in Stevenage, said: ‘We’ve been absolutely amazed, the booking system went live on Saturday morning and by 11 o’clock our slots were virtually fully booked.

‘It’s amazing how many people got that letter and have already booked in.

‘We’re monitoring it on a daily basis to see how many slots we’ve got available and who else we then need to invite in.’

Government says public must still stay at home and follow the rules

Minister for COVID-19 vaccine deployment Nadhim Zahawi said an estimated two million people have received the first does of the COVID vaccine in the UK.

Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock said: ‘The UK vaccine delivery plan will be the keystone of our exit out of the pandemic, but we all must continue to play our part by staying at home, following the rules and keeping hands, face, space at the forefront of our minds when out and about.’


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