More than 60,000 local residents in Hammersmith & Fulham have now received the first Covid vaccine jab from the local NHS.
The jabs have been called a ‘relief’ and ‘reassuring’ for residents who have received their first and second jabs.
The local NHS is currently offering the Covid vaccine to people most at risk from coronavirus. This ranges from older residents and those with serious underlying health problems to frontline workers in the borough.
“Help is here. The NHS is working non-stop to get people vaccinated as fast as possible,” said Dr Nicola Lang, Director of Public Health at Hammersmith & Fulham Council.
“I encourage everyone to get their vaccinations when they’re contacted by their GP. The vaccine is safe and will protect you and your loved ones from the deadly virus.”
One of the first to be vaccinated in H&F was Doris Sargeant, who told us she was ‘relieved’ to get her second jab of the Covid-19 vaccine in early January.
The 90-year-old former Hammersmith hairdresser was determined to get the vaccine to make sure she would be able to see her family in Trinidad once lockdown and travel restrictions are lifted.
Doris, who lives close to Charing Cross Hospital, said: “I knew from the start that I wanted it and would go for it as soon as I could. I’ll be able to see my family soon.”
Fulham resident Dr Loretta Lou also shared her relief with receiving the jab, saying: "I am so lucky to be one of the people in H&F who have had their Covid vaccine! As someone who is 'clincally extremely vulnerable', I was invited to have my first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine in January at the clinic in Parsons Green. I was quite nervous at first, but the nurse was so good that I didn't even notice when the needle went in. I felt a little under the weather the day after my jab, and my arm was sore a few days. I know these minor side effects are very normal and I'm not worried. It's been a week now and I feel absolutely fine! I urge people to take up the vaccine when it's their turn. With covid-19, nobody is safe until everyone is safe."
Another local resident, Zofia Szymanska, told us: “I’m 70 years old. I had my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine in January. I had no side effects at all. I was vaccinated at White City Community Centre – it was superbly organised, and all the staff were very nice and professional. Now I'm waiting for the second dose... I want to extend my appreciation and sincere thanks to all NHS staff. Thank you!”
And Gaye Black said: "I had my first Pfizer jab at Richford Gate and it was extremely well organised. No after effects apart from a slightly stiff arm the next morning, but that only lasted a day. Very pleased."
While fellow local resident Madeleine Saman said: “There are three of us in our family – one over 75, one over 70 and one vulnerable. We had our Pfizer jabs at White City Community Centre and are very grateful to H&F, the NHS and our GP. Thanks to all of you.”
And Jan Keith said: “After almost a year of shielding alone, it means ‘hope’ for re-integration into a better quality of life, little by little. Applause for the roll-out effort and the efficient and kind local NHS – it was speedy, no queues, and amazingly organized. People looked thankful and relieved.”
One local keyworker Sarah Melman, Deputy Headteacher at Jack Tizard School in White City, said: “The process was very welcoming, reassuring, efficient and a positive experience. The staff were lovely.
“As someone who works in H&F, it makes feel valued to have been offered the vaccine and that people in the local authority appreciate the risk we take and the work that we do every day.”
How it works
Local pharmacist and Shepherds Bush resident Hala Abusin described how the process worked for her: “The vaccination process was seamless for me. I received a call from my surgery offering me a convenient appointment that fitted around my work and home schedule. Once we agreed a time, I received a text message confirming the date, time and location of the appointment.
VIDEO: Watch Hala urge H&F residents to get their vaccine
“Upon arrival at the vaccination hub, I was greeted by one of the staff members who asked my name and time slot booked then ushered me in. A friendly young lady who was one of the volunteers then asked me to follow the one-way system, sat me down in a booth and asked me a series of questions before the nurse in charge greeted me, explained the simple and quick process then administered the vaccine. I was asked to wait for 15 minutes before receiving a final check.
“It was mandatory to wear a face covering and to keep a two-metre distance. All in all, the staff were showing a great degree of care, dedication and you can feel their sense of pride in being part of this campaign.
“I answered the call to receive my vaccine to keep myself safe, my family protected, and my patients and colleagues reassured that we must play a collective part to stay safe.”
What about me?
Don’t worry. The NHS will let you know when it's your turn to have the vaccine as it works through the age groups and risk categories in the coming months. Letters are being sent out every week.
If you are not registered with your local NHS GP please register to make sure you’re contacted to get your vaccine jabs. Find out about registering with a GP.
For more details about the Covid-19 vaccine, please visit our vaccine web page.
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