Southsea former Royal Marine, 89, urges people to get Covid-19 vaccine after he becomes one of the first to get the jab at Kingston Crescent GP surgery

A FORMER Royal Marine has urged people to have the Covid-19 vaccine after being among the first to receive it at the city’s first GP vaccination centre.

By Millie Salkeld
Thursday, 17th December 2020, 7:00 am
Updated Thursday, 17th December 2020, 10:31 am

John Hayward and his wife June from Southsea make up more than 320 people who were vaccinated on Wednesday at Kingston Crescent Surgery in North End.

The 89-year-old grandfather said: ‘The staff were absolutely fantastic and it all happened very efficiently.

‘I would say to anyone if you can have the vaccine then you should. If either my wife or I got Covid-19 we would go into hospital and not come back out.

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Former Royal Marine John Hayward is vaccinated by Dr Phil Monnery, while Mr Hayward' wife, June, right, who also received the vaccine, looks on. Covid-19 vaccine is given at Kingston Crescent Surgery, North End, the first GP practice in Portsmouth to do so Picture: Chris Moorhouse (161220-53)

‘If you have the vaccine and don’t get it then there is nothing lost but if you do get it and it saves you then it’s worth it.’

Kingston Crescent Surgery has 975 first doses of the Pfizer vaccine to give out to patients over 80, care home workers and at-risk surgery staff over three clinics this week.

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Dr Karen Kyd, clinical director of the Portsdown Primary Care Network which the surgery is part of, described the day as ‘emotional’.

Gwen and Bob Betts of Paulsgrove. Covid-19 vaccine was given at Kingston Crescent Surgery, North End, the first GP practice in Portsmouth to do so Picture: Chris Moorhouse (161220-50)

She told The News: ‘Everyone has worked so hard to get everything in place and it all went fantastically well.

‘The staff were quite emotional and they said they felt that they were doing something important for Portsmouth and I think that does sum it up.

‘We are proud to be vaccinating Portsmouth and help getting everyone back to a more normal life.’

Glenn Allen, BIT Manager of the Vaccine Steering Group, said: ‘When you consider the gravity of what was undertaken, I consider it an absolute privilege to have been part of this process, as not only are we the first country in the world to roll out the vaccine, but we are one of the first GP surgeries to start jabbing patients. A very proud day for all of us.’

Shannon Martell, who works in the reception area said: ‘I feel proud and privileged to have been part of this monumental undertaking.

‘Seeing the happy patients making their way out of the waiting room having had their jabs, coupled with the time of year, and the difficult times we have all endured recently, left me feeling quite emotional.

The Covid-19 vaccine is also being given out at Queen Alexandra Hospital and Fareham Community Hospital.

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