These Notts students are helping to administer the COVID-19 vaccine

True legends

University of Nottingham staff and students have joined forces to help administer the new COVID-19 vaccine to the Nottinghamshire community, as quickly as possible.

The first University-supported vaccination site was set up at Cripps Health Centre, where the team has recruited over 40 University staff and students to administer the jab. People were so keen to get involved, they had more than 770 applications in just 72 hours.

Among the University of Nottingham students who successfully applied to work at the Cripps centre was 24-year-old Shahzeb Ali, a 4th year medical student.

He said: “The opportunity to get involved in a national vaccination programme in the middle of a pandemic that will have a huge impact on getting the country immunised and back on its feet was a once in a lifetime opportunity and not one I could pass up. When I heard about it, I knew I had to join. We all have to do our part in these unprecedented times, this is my way of contributing.”

Luke Halls, a first year Physiotherapy student at the University of Nottingham is one of the people who have recently started vaccinating at the new site on King’s Meadow Campus- set to be one of the largest vaccination sites in Nottingham.

He said: “It feels really humbling. For me as a first year Physio student, it just allows me to make a difference. You can play your part at the moment by following the rules but this is actually making a big difference and it’s how we are going to see our way out of this crisis.

“I got the opportunity from my clinical lecturers and just thought it would be a really good thing to take on.”

On top of this, around 14 members of staff from the University’s School of Health Sciences have put themselves forward to be seconded to a vaccination service at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust’s Nottingham City Hospital next week. They are being supported by other staff members in the school who have offered to take on extra responsibilities to free up their colleagues to deliver vaccinations.

In response to the University’s ongoing efforts, UoN’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Shearer West, said that “the efforts of our staff and students who have helped to support NHS colleagues in the roll-out of the vaccination programme have been truly outstanding.”

She continued: “Seeing the way in which our University community has risen to the challenge of Covid-19 from the start of the pandemic – whether it be through working to develop new vaccines, volunteering to support our local communities or leading numerous research studies to increase our understanding of the virus and its impact – has been a constant source of inspiration to me.”

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