Community vaccine centre staying open on bank holidays to drive up rates

A Covid vaccination centre serving a deprived community with some of the lowest take-up rates in the region is keeping its doors open on bank holidays in an effort to improve figures.

Sumaiyya Ravat and Faiza Hoque,of Larvic Pharmacy based at Palfrey Access Centre, in Walsall, are urging residents to get a jab
Sumaiyya Ravat and Faiza Hoque,of Larvic Pharmacy based at Palfrey Access Centre, in Walsall, are urging residents to get a jab

The Palfrey Access Centre, in Walsall, which is being operated as an NHS jab centre has bilingual staff and will be open over most of the festive break to tackle low awareness of the programme. In Palfrey a significant number of residents speak English as a second language in a high population density area, meaning Covid-19 transmission is prevalent.

The building, in South Street, formerly known as the Sure Start Centre, will be open tomorrow 9.30am to 11.30am; Thursday 9.30am to 11.30am; Christmas Eve 9.30am to 11.30am. On December 27 and 28 at 10am to 2pm; December 29 and 31 at 9.30am to 11.30am.

All sessions are for over 16s who will get the Pfizer vaccine and walk-ins without appointments are available. The centre’s dedicated booking line is 01922 647981.

Despite seeing lower than national average rates NHS Black Country and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has since December 13 put more than 110,000 doses in arms.

The CCG's chief nursing officer Sally Roberts said: "We’ve been working tirelessly over the past week to accelerate the vaccination programme across the area.

"To deliver more than 110,000 jabs in one week is a phenomenal achievement, so thank you to everyone who came forward to get protected.

"With Omicron cases soaring, and two doses of the vaccine not providing the protection we need, it is vital to get a booster and lower your risk of serious illness or hospitalisation.

"Like all medicines, the Covid-19 vaccines can cause side effects, but please don’t let this put you off.

"Any side effects are often mild and short lived, but the benefit of having the booster for you, your family and your friends, is substantial and getting boosted is our best hope of protecting people against the new variant.

"With more than 100 vaccination sites available across the Black Country and West Birmingham, including shopping centres, sports centres and town centres, as well as local pharmacies and GP surgeries, it’s never been easier to get your jab.

"The vaccine remains our best protection so please come forward as soon as possible."

Anyone eligible for a first, second or booster dose is encouraged to come forward as soon as possible, with appointments available to book online via the National Booking System.

Walk-in sites include Tipton Sports Academy, in Tipton; Saddlers Centre, in Walsall; the Cardiac Rehab Gym at City Hospital and the Mander Centre in Wolverhampton.

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