Vaccination teams have been living up to the promise that “no-one gets left behind,” as they help deliver COVID protection to groups who are under-represented.
In the last week, a pop-up clinic has been held in Stoke-on-Trent, and a new Targeted Vaccination Team has operated for the very first time in the Stafford area supporting seasonal fruit farm staff.
The Targeted Vaccination Team is a mobile vaccination service that is a partnership between Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (MPFT) who provide vaccinators, and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service who provide planning, logistics and transport support.
On Tuesday it visited fruit farms employing seasonal workers – largely from Eastern Europe.
Rich Williams and other talk about the Targeted Vaccination Teams
Station Officer Rich Williams of Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service COVID Team said: “The team is working with the NHS to target groups within the community who are under-represented when it comes to having the vaccine. Working with our Prevent teams and the NHS, we’ve identified we can support vulnerable groups such as farm workers to get vaccinated.”
Claire Thornton of Dearnsdale Fruits near Stafford said: “The workers we have are very astute and have done their own research on the vaccine. But they have now been provided with translated information from the NHS which has greatly increased enthusiasm to get vaccinated.”
The pop-up clinic was provided at Equality House Community Centre in Hanley. Vaccination was available to anyone in an eligible group without an appointment.
Watch people talk about the pop-up vaccination centre
Dr Ajmal Hussain from nearby Shelton Primary Care Centre said: “We’ve been doing first doses of Moderna vaccine as an outreach clinic. We have data that shows that in certain areas, uptake of the vaccine is not quite as good as others – and this clinic will reduce any barriers to getting the vaccine.
“This clinic is for anyone who fits the criteria from any background. All are welcome.”
Dr Paddy Hannigan, Clinical Lead for the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Vaccine Programme said: “We’ve promised that we won’t leave anyone behind during this largest vaccination programme ever undertaken.
“We’ve delivered around 900,000 first and second doses of the vaccine in our area, but we need uptake to be evenly spread among all our communities. Some are harder to reach for diverse reasons such as language spoken or rurality, but we are determined they will not be left behind. The Mobile Vaccination Team and pop-up clinics are excellent examples of how we are achieving this.”