Supporting Surge Vaccination in Nuneaton
What we did
The vaccination programme had already established a range of places in Nuneaton and Bedworth where local people could get a vaccination. Eligible patients had already been invited by their GP surgery to attend one of their local vaccination hubs or the Bedworth Civic Hall, run by Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust (CWPT). In addition, there are also a number of large pharmacies offering the vaccination in the area. People also have the option to travel to one of the large vaccination sites in Stoneleigh or Birmingham. Despite this, the data told us that the take up in the wards affected by the variant was lower than in the rest of Nuneaton.
The aim of the surge vaccination programme was to find even more convenient ways of getting the vaccine, removing some of the traditional barriers such as booking processes and the need to travel. New innovations were developed to reach directly into the affected communities and the programme worked with Public Health at Warwickshire County Council to promote the dual offer of testing and vaccination.
A ‘vaccination ambulance’ was parked in the town centre. This vehicle acts as a mobile vaccination centre, allowing anyone eligible to drop in and get the vaccination at their convenience. The ambulance was promoted through local media and targeted community channels. In the first two days, more than 200 were vaccinated. In the subsequent three days it vaccinated around 100 more people.
In addition, a vaccination clinic was put on outside the local mosque, co-located with the testing point. This was the first Pfizer vaccination ‘pop up’ temporary clinic for the vaccination programme. Rather than promoting this through local media, we worked very closely with faith and community leaders to directly target people in the areas of the town affected with the variant and in ethnic groups where vaccine take up was lower.
Extra vaccinations are now also being offered at George Eliot Hospital, with a phone line being introduced for people with concerns to call to speak to a healthcare professional. The clinic is open 7 days a week and people book using a link or through the telephone line. The hospital gave anyone attending for a vaccination free car parking to help make things easier.
The result of this was that all available vaccines were used, with the majority vaccinated being resident in the target area.
The vaccination ambulance has continued to operate in Nuneaton as we continue to work to suppress Covid-19 variants. Further pop up clinics have taken place across Coventry and Warwickshire.