Queen Alexandra Hospital staff among first in Portsmouth to get Covid booster jabs

STAFF at Queen Alexandra Hospital are among the first in the city to get a third Covid jab as a booster programme to protect themselves and patients has begun.

Thursday, 30th September 2021, 4:04 pm

This week Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust (PHU) started its roll-out of booster Pfizer vaccines to all colleagues who had their second jab at least six months ago.

It comes as the roll-out for eligible candidates nationally, including adults aged 50 and over and people living in care homes, started on September 16.

Rachel Johnson, clinical operations manager in occupational health who is working in the QA vaccines hub, said: ‘I have already had my booster and would encourage everyone to come down to the centre when they are called for their appointment.

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Staff at QA getting their Covid booster jabs. Pictured: consultant Ike, stroke nurse Lisa and Anthony from the sterilisation and disinfection unit. Picture: PHU

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‘It’s vital that we all get our booster dose to protect ourselves, our friends, our families, and most importantly our patients.’

Stroke nurse Lisa was the first QA worker to receive the booster jab. She said: ‘I am going to get my Covid booster jab because it’s essential that I am protected so I can keep well and keep looking after my patients.’

Jo Long, ward clerk on the newborn intensive care unit, added: ‘I had Covid last November and felt so ill and I never want to feel like that again. I’m getting the vaccine today to stay protected for myself and my family.’

GV of QA hospital, Portsmouth on 15 October 2020. Picture: Habibur Rahman

The Covid-19 hub at QA opened on December 8, 2020, initially delivering the Pfizer vaccine to people aged 80 and over, care home workers and local NHS staff. Between then and May the hub delivered 60,000 doses of the vaccine.

According to government figures 77.3 per cent of people aged 16 and over in Portsmouth have had at least Covid jab and 70.4 per cent have had both, as of September 28.

This is below the average for England of 79.2 per cent who had their first jab and 73.3 per cent who had their second.

Picture: Sarah Standing (010221-2020)

Penny Emerit, chief executive at PHU, said: ‘Just over 10 months ago we played an exciting role in the largest vaccination programme in NHS history when we started vaccinating members of the public and health and social care workers against Covid-19.

‘I’m pleased to share that we have begun offering the Covid booster jab to our staff, so that they can help protect themselves and our patients this winter. I would urge everyone invited to get their booster when they can and play a vital part in reducing the impact this pandemic is having on our patients and our loved ones.’

PHU staff will be sent a link from the occupational health team when they are able to receive the booster.

Other eligible members of the public include frontline social care workers, vulnerable people aged 16 and over, carers aged 16 and over, people aged 16 and over who live with someone who is more likely to get infections.

Eligible people will be contacted by the NHS when they are able to get the booster dose – around six months after their second jab.

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