Hampstead vaccination centre shoots for 1,000 daily Covid jabs
- Credit: Royal Free Charity
The Recreation Club in Hampstead has turned into a Covid-19 vaccination centre as it aims to provide 1,000 jabs per day.
The repurposed Royal Free Charity facility in Fleet Road opened on January 15 and is being run by local GPs amid a nationwide push to ramp up the speed of the vaccine rollout.
Operating out of the sports hall, the centre is open three days a week from 8am-6pm, vaccinating patients according to their clinical priority.
The facility at the rear of the Royal Free is supported by volunteers and it will open every day once its supply of vaccine is guaranteed.
Royal Free Charity chief executive Jon Spiers said: “We’re incredibly grateful to our staff for their flexibility and now these volunteers for giving up their time. And of course it’s our generous donors who make our work possible.”
He added: “It’s great to see staff and volunteers are once again stepping up, this time to do their bit in this extraordinary mission to vaccinate the nation.”
During the first wave of the pandemic, the Rec Club was used as a free supermarket for NHS workers, and then a gym.
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Club manager Kelly Rush said: “Staff quickly adapted to working in ways they couldn’t have imagined in order to turn thousands of daily donations from local businesses into practical bundles of items for staff.
“Then, once the first lockdown ended, we were able to re-open the club in July for our members, our team having re-designed the sports hall again and brought the gym equipment downstairs to comply with all government guidelines. I’m immensely proud of the club team.”
Residents are advised not to contact the hospital or charity to book a vaccination. The GPs managing the Hampstead base will contact people who are eligible.
More than four million people across the UK have now received at least one dose of the Covid vaccine.
The most vulnerable to the virus are being prioritised including residents in care homes, 80-year-olds and over, and frontline health and social care workers.