More than 200 vaccinated in opening weeks of vaccination programme

Fire Service Volunteer, Ian Miller

More than 200 people have been vaccinated in the opening weeks of a vaccination programme led by Staffordshire Fire and Rescue and the Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (MPFT).

The Targeted Vaccination Team, which piloted at the beginning of May, focuses on vulnerable groups and offers wider community help to those who are unable to obtain the Coronavirus vaccine for whatever reason.

The pop-up clinic is run by a mixture of five or six staff from the fire service and the MPFT and sees fire service vehicles heading out to different areas of Staffordshire – including fruit farms and local communities.

Our aim is to ensure access to health parity for all and support the NHS during this extremely difficult time.

Rich Williams, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue

On Friday 21 May, the team visited the Caribbean Club in Burton, vaccinating 88 individuals. 116 were vaccinated during the first fortnight.

Rich Williams, Covid lead at Staffordshire Fire and Rescue 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 in getting vaccinated.

“This primarily is all about making every contact count and ensuring that everyone has the option of having the vaccine should they wish. Our aim is to ensure access to health parity for all and support the NHS during this extremely difficult time.

“We hope this is the start of wider partnership between ourselves and our colleagues at the Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.”

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.”