We’re delighted that our vaccination hub opened today (Tuesday 15 December) at Queen’s Hospital.
From this afternoon, we’ve been doing our bit by vaccinating care home workers from across our three boroughs, as well as our own vulnerable frontline staff.
Julie-Anne Hull (pictured below), a community staff nurse who works in NELFT’s district nursing team was pleased to get the vaccine as she works with elderly and vulnerable patients in care homes and their own homes across the community.
She said: “I work with very elderly and vulnerable people, often going from house to house. I’ve worried that I could be carrying the virus without knowing it so it’s really important for me to have the vaccine and know I am protected.
“Anything I can do which puts my patients at less risk, I will. I would encourage everyone to get the vaccine when they are asked, as it will only work if everyone does their bit.”
Watch Julie-Anne talk about why having the vaccine is important to her.
Sharon Dean, who has been a housekeeper at Parkside Residential Home in Romford for 14 years, added: “I will feel much better having the jab as it will make my residents feel safer.
“This pandemic has been extremely hard for them so I’m really pleased that those working with vulnerable people have been prioritised for the vaccine.”
Lourdes Da Cunha (pictured above), one of our anaesthetists, was looking forward to the protection the vaccine will provide, as his underlying conditions meant he had to shield during the pandemic. He said: “I’m high risk as I have high blood pressure and diabetes. Covid-19 is very dangerous for me and could be fatal.
“My underlying conditions meant I had to shield, and then could do restricted activities. I’ve only been able to work in our Covid-protected green zone. It’s been difficult so I’m really excited about the vaccine.”
Hear from Lourdes Da Cunha on having the vaccine.
Michael Roche (above), works for Heathlands Day Centre, Dagenham, and since the start of the pandemic he has also been working in the borough's adult learning and elderly centres. He said: "I'm really pleased to have the jab and feel so lucky to be part of the first day. I feel like I'm part of history. Everyone should have the jab when they can because it will make everywhere much safer".
Yvonne Fothergill (above) has been a carer for eight years in Ashbrook Nursing Home, Romford. She said: "We need normality and hopefully the vaccination will give us this. I'm not getting any younger; I want to get back to travelling again as soon as I can and see places I haven’t seen before."
Michael Witham (above), who works in Abbeyfield Care Home, said: "It feels good to have the vaccine. I had no doubts about having it. Having the jab means we can try to keep people safe. I would encourage others to have the vaccine if offered."
The very first person to give a vaccine at our Trust was Arax Sepanian, a practice development nurse in our Care of the Elderly team, she said: “I’ve been a flu champion for six years, giving 600-700 flu jabs each time so everyone knows me as the ‘jab lady’. It was nice to be the first to give this vaccine at our Trust, although I was a bit nervous.
“I’m passionate about staff wellbeing – we all put our patients in our hearts to provide the best care we can. This is a small thing we can do for our staff, which in turn safeguards our patients.”
Magda Smith, our Chief Medical Officer, said: “I am excited about this vaccine as I believe it will be a game changer.
“I have absolutely no hesitation in having it to protect myself from Covid-19 so I can continue to help my patients. When it’s your turn, please do get jabbed.
“I am delighted our vaccination hub is now open, ensuring those who need it most, like care home workers and vulnerable frontline staff, are first in line to get it.
“The vaccine is our best defence against Covid-19 and will help make 2021 a better year than 2020 has been.”
Those eligible for the vaccine at this stage will be contacted directly to book an appointment.
While the vaccine is one of our best defences against the virus; at the same time, it is crucial to remember that we must still regularly was our hands, wear our masks and socially distance, even after having it.
See our video below for a walk-through of our vaccination hub.
Read more about our vaccine hub: