UCL Bidborough House faced with long queues after government announcement on booster vaccines

Queues are reported to be lasting for hours

UCL Bidborough House is seen to have queues lasting around the whole block amid the government’s push to offer booster doses to all over 18s.

This is only one day after the news that the COVID alert level has moved from 3 to 4 in the UK. The sudden move up of the deadline is seen to be prompted by the new Omicron variant, with 3137 cases recorded by the government so far. The Prime Minister warned people against thinking that the new Omicron variant will not make them seriously ill, and urged the public to “get boosted now”.

The UK Government announced on Monday that booster vaccines will be offered to all over 18s by the end of the year. UCL’s Bidborough House opened as a vaccination centre in August 2021, set up in partnership with University College Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH).

The queues come on the same day that people are reporting there are no more at home lateral flow tests available on the government website. The Department of Health said that it couldn’t say when lateral flow tests would be available again.

People are seen to be queueing around the building

UCL President & Provost, Dr Michael Spence, said:

“We are delighted the NHS has opened a vaccination centre at UCL, continuing our commitment to support and assist frontline services during the Covid-19 pandemic. Working with our partners at UCLH, the centre will provide local residents and students the ability to book a vaccination at their convenience.”

A volunteer at the centre stated that the queues are taking “hours” to be resolved, with waiting times at their highest. The timing of the announcement coincides with the end of term for most universities being this Friday. Many UCL students will be returning home this Christmas, within the UK and abroad, despite the new fears of the Omicron variant. Within UCL, Bentham House is said to have moved all lectures online till the end of Term 1, with more cases being reported across campus this week.

The centre is open 8.30am-7pm, seven days a week. Walk in appointments are available at Bidborough House. To book an appointment for the vaccine, eligible students can visit the NHS booking website.

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