Greywell Pharmacy in Leigh Park’s shopping precinct has opened a vaccination centre at the old shoe shop unit, next door to Savers.
Supplied with the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, pharmacists started immunising people in the hope to hit a 200-a-day jabs target – with it already fully booked for this week.
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Our Shot in the Arm campaign wants ever person in the UK to be within 10 minutes’ travel of a vaccine.
The first patient through the door was Tony Robinson, from Emsworth.
The 73-year-old told The News: ‘I do consider getting your Covid-19 vaccine to be a civic duty.
‘In these circumstances we have to do everything we can for one another, and that includes being vaccinated.
‘I think having pharmacies do vaccines is an excellent idea – and I am amazed by how many people are volunteering to help out.
‘Beating this vaccine is a true community effort, we’ve all got a part to play.’
The pharmacy team soon had a smooth system up and running, much to the praise of patients.
Around 206 people were due to have been vaccinated today.
While many patients were within walking distance, others had travelled from further afield as this was now their nearest vaccination centre.
Maureen Percival travelled from Horndean for her jab, and said: ‘There’s no vaccination centre near where I live.
‘Having pharmacies do Covid-19 vaccinations is a no-brainer to me. You can get your flu jab there so they should cover coronavirus jabs too.
‘Everyone here has been lovely, I’m glad I came here.’
Through Havant Borough Council, an arrangement has been agreed for patients to park in the Basing Road car park – behind Leigh Park Community Centre – for free.
Pharmacy superintendent Mita Thakrar said opening the vaccine centre was an ‘emotional’ day for staff, who had been up late the night before making the final preparations.
She said: ‘We’re really excited to have finally opened this place for locals, it’s definitely needed.
‘At the moment we’re going to be doing around 200 vaccines each day, so it’s going to be very busy.
‘More vaccination centres are needed right across the country, so we’re proud to be playing our part.’