As part of the NHS effort in Lewisham to make the COVID-19 vaccine accessible to everyone, a ‘pop up’ vaccination clinic was held at the New Testament Church of God in Lee on Saturday 27 March.
Around 180 people were vaccinated at the clinic which was held for members of the congregation and the local community who were eligible for the vaccine at this stage. The clinic was run by NHS staff and a team of volunteers.
For those in eligible groups, appointments for the vaccine are available at ten different sites in Lewisham including five GP practices, three pharmacies and Lewisham and Greenwich Hospital. Appointments can be booked via the national booking system.
Martin Wilkinson, Director of Integrated Care and Commissioning, Lewisham Council and NHS South East London CCG said: “We are very grateful to the church for accommodating the clinic. We know that uptake of the vaccine is not as high among some sections of our local population and anything we can do to make it easier for people to get their vaccine helps us all to be safe, lowers hospital admissions and means we will get back to a more normal way of living more quickly. We are now looking at setting up further ‘pop up’ clinics’ over the next few weeks.”
Dr Louis R McLeod OBE, Senior Pastor at New Testament Church of God said: “The feedback from members of the church and the community in general was very positive. They were happy to see the church playing a part and supporting the efforts in the fight against the Covid 19 virus. Receiving trusted and factual information about the vaccine from the church leaders, doctors and NHS staff was reassuring and gave individuals confidence to come out to take the vaccine. We look forward to request for future pop up clinics”
Local resident, Hannah Kalakia said: “I am happy to get my vaccination. I liked coming to a church to have it done. I do not have a GP and now I am happy. I am looking forward to getting my second dose.”
Local resident, Kate Craft said: “Very flexible and seems like a simpler process to follow. I didn’t mind travelling to be able to get the vaccine. It means a step closer to getting more freedom. The staff were very friendly and helpful. It was quick and fairly painless.”
Local resident, Mr Rob Cordell “I had been meaning to book for a while. I saw the post of what’s app come though and it prompted me to go ahead. The process felt more personalised when talking to a person rather than putting details into a computer. Added benefit, I could walk here. A very efficient, friendly service. Thank you.” For information about the COVD-19 vaccine see https://selondonccg.nhs.uk/what-we-do/covid-19/covid-19-vaccine/ or https://lewisham.gov.uk/myservices/coronavirus-covid-19/covid19-vaccine/vaccination-for-covid-19