A vaccination site against COVID-19 has been set up in Lincoln to protect vulnerable people from the virus during the winter months, as the NHS steps up its autumn booster programme.
The new site opened at The Weighing Rooms on Carholme Road in Lincoln, next to the Grandstand, on Monday, September 12. It will be open seven days a week between 8am and 7.30pm.
The site’s unveiling comes as part of the NHS’ autumn booster programme, encouraging elderly and vulnerable people to come forward for a COVID-19 jab to protect them over the winter months.
It has a capacity for 520 vaccinations per day, and is a booking-only site, meaning no walk-in appointments can be accepted initially as the first cohorts are contacted for their jabs.
The centre began by inviting over 75s before opening the floor to people over 65, though anyone over 50 or with underlying health conditions is welcome to book an appointment by either calling 119 or visiting the National Booking System online.
Julie Humphreys was appointed head of clinical services at NHS Lincolnshire ICB in 2021 as a direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic. She has been a nurse for almost 50 years and says the efforts of the NHS teams to roll out vaccinations has made her immensely proud.
She told The Lincolnite: “Things are really moving at pace since we opened the new site, we’ve had great feedback so far from patients about the speed and efficiency.
“My message as a registered nurse is that the virus is still circulating and we want to protect you. We still need to keep everyone safe and the best way to do that is vaccinating people ahead of the winter.
“The JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation) has recognised that elderly cohorts are the most vulnerable through winter, so we are here to offer the vaccine and keep you safe from serious illness or, tragically, death.
“If you’re eligible you’ve been deemed to need a vaccination, so we recommend you come down and get jabbed to look after yourself this winter.”
The process of signing people in for their appointments is handled by a series of volunteer workers from charity Age UK – who are working in partnership with the NHS Lincolnshire ICB to ensure the maximum amount of people can get their jabs as quickly as possible.
Anderson Munyua, one of the volunteers at the new site, said: “I joined the programme in June 2021 as an admin, and when I joined I had no idea what to expect – but I have absolutely loved it.
“I’ve made good friends and we are all like one big family, I just love the frontline experience I get at the admin desks speaking to patients ahead of their vaccinations.
“The reason I volunteered was that I just wanted to help people. I lost my old job because of COVID and got this one because of it, it sort of came full circle.
“It’s good to be an ambassador for the vaccinations as well, there’s so much false information out there that I felt a bit of responsibility to pass down knowledge to people who may have worries about getting their jab.”