Vaccine uptake at pop-up clinics remains strong in Northamptonshire, pharmacists say
"We want to vaccinate every person where we can. It's just a safer way to live."
Vaccine uptake is staying strong for two pop-up clinics in Northamptonshire, amidst a local rise in Covid-19 cases.
The promising news comes after a series of clinics opened their doors today (October 19), with a significant portion of patients being younger people. These have helped boost the number of double-vaccinated people in Northampton to more than 140,000, as of October 17, according to Government statistics, which is over half of Northampton's population.
Akshay Patel, a pharmacist helping to deliver the vaccine at the Pravasi Mandal Centre in Wellingborough, says that making full vaccination a requirement for certain activities has made people more willing to take part but he still urges older people to come forward.
He said: "People want to travel and I think that is the reason because it [the vaccine] is one of the requirements.
"Lots of young people are coming forward now. But we still see different ages coming through. It isn't just young people.
"We still need older people to get vaccinated. We want to vaccinate every person where we can. It's just a safer way to live. A percentage haven't been vaccinated and we think they should come forward.
"The rise in cases is steady, not like the worst of it before. So the vaccine is definitely protecting people. So then if people do get infected with Covid-19 they don't get very severe symptoms."
With calls for more vaccinations coming loud and clear, the emphasis is now on accessibility so opening times for clinics have been extended for those with less permissive schedules.
Nabeeln Amirudin, another pharmacist who manages the clinic at Regent Pharmacy, the Pravasi Mandal Centre and one other, says that giving people options is the best way to keep vaccination uptake high.
He added: "We've got a popular site here because of our central location. If people prefer, they can just walk in.
"I think we should provide that extra bit of flexibility. Not everyone is very tech savvy and they can't just go online. So it's good to have that leeway for people who work early or a bit later.
"Cases are rising so I think if people get their protection from flu jabs as well as their Covid-19 vaccinations, that would be best."
Mr Amirudin says the next major drive will come before Diwali, when he hopes that even more people take up the call to get their jabs.