A BRADFORD doctor leading a Covid-19 vaccine centre’s new drop-in service says it will run until at least September if the uptake from residents demands it.
Dr Tamjeed Hakeem set up the Covid vaccination hub at Barkerend Health Centre, Barkerend Road, six months ago and the site is now running a drop-in clinic initially for the next four weeks, but plans to extend this service for the entire summer.
The drop-in vaccine clinic, backed by Bradford Council, is being held weekdays between 10am and 4pm.
The vaccine is available for anyone aged 25 and over, carers or frontline health and social care staff, as well as those aged 16 or over who are clinically vulnerable. Anyone aged under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
Dr Hakeem said: “I think we will see a good uptake for the drop-in clinic and continue running it for as long as it is needed.
“We could carry on this hub until September.
“The response has been encouraging so far. We had 31 people come to the drop-in clinic on its first day on Monday, then 52 on Tuesday. We want to get up to 50 to 100 people coming to the clinic each day.
“Our centre has been very busy since it started six months ago with clinicians and admin staff often working 10 to 12 hours per day.
“The winter was a tough time for the clinic. But we did not waste a dose. We gave them to police officers and other emergency workers.”
Dr Hakeem accepts there has been some vaccine hesitancy among some residents in the district for what he says is down to cultural reasons or miscommunication.
He added: “I think UK is now getting to a position where we should be able to help other countries set up and deploy their Covid vaccination programmes.
“I am thinking about countries that have less financial resources and also war torn countries.
“If we don’t help and work together to control the spread of Covid-19, we could be fighting against new Covid variants for many years to come.”
Mike Simmonds, the Telegraph & Argus photographer, used the walk-in service himself when he took these pictures at the centre on Wednesday. He was due to have his second AstraZeneca vaccine next month, but brought this forward when offered it.
Those who attend the drop-in centre for a vaccine must wear a face mask at all times and also asked to bring an umbrella in case it rains or to shade from the sun as people may have to queue outside the centre for a few minutes due to social distancing rules.