Vaccine pioneer Doris Sargeant said she was ‘relieved’ to get her second jab of the Covid-19 vaccine on Wednesday (6 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.”
Thousands of older residents across the borough are also now receiving their Covid-19 vaccine jabs.
“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. “This is a momentous step in defeating Covid-19 and will allow us to regain control of our lives”.
“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.”
Doses of the Pfizer vaccine have already been used for the local NHS jab programme, with the Oxford Astra Zeneca vaccine next to give residents high levels of immunity from Covid-19. From next week, people in care homes will also receive the vaccine.
Patients receiving their second dose of the vaccine in Hammersmith this week also urged other residents to go along and get vaccinated – but only when they receive an invite from their GP.
At a central Hammersmith medical practice, more than 1,000 patients received their jabs during a three-day vaccination session this week.
Aicha Chamchoun, 81, said she felt ‘much happier’ after having the vaccine. “I am feeling very well,” said grandmother-of-eight Mrs Chamchoun, who got her second dose of the Pfizer jab on Wednesday (6 January).
“My husband and my children encouraged me to have it and everything has been so well organised. I had no pain or fever at all after the first dose and I feel much happier now that I have had it.”
The Hammersmith practice rolled out the first doses of the vaccine from the middle of December and has been able to give second doses to patients who already had appointments booked.
Approximately 400 patients are vaccinated at the site each day, first having their temperature taken before answering a few simple questions from a doctor.
A clinician then gives the patient the jab in their arm – which takes a few seconds – before they relax in a socially-distanced waiting room for 15 minutes for monitoring before leaving.
Mansukhlal Shah, 86, and his wife Nirmala, 85, who live off North End Road in Fulham, were accompanied to their appointment by their son Kash, a property manager.
“They are very relieved and happy to have the vaccine,” said their son, adding the couple’s six grandchildren were ‘excited’ they were getting the vaccine so they could see them.
“They have been almost imprisoned in their flat because they have been shielding, so the first thing they feel now is that they have some confidence they are not putting themselves at risk if they go out. Now they can go out to get some exercise. We just wish that everyone has the opportunity to have it very soon.”
For Jacqueline Narain, who is due to celebrate her 85th birthday next week, the vaccine couldn’t come soon enough. “It was just like having a flu injection,” said the former British Telecom directory enquiries worker, who lives in Sulgrave Road, Hammersmith.
“It didn’t hurt and I had no side effects. I just feel lucky I am getting it done as they are doing it for our safety and our health. When they rang me to confirm the appointment, I was so happy.”
More sites coming
Other vaccination sites are due to go live in H&F this month and invitations to attend from GPs and medical practices will follow the order of the priority list.
For details about getting a Covid-19 test, visit: www.lbhf.gov.uk/gettested
For help and advice about local services and Covid-19, visit: www.lbhf.gov.uk/coronavirus
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