Prime Minister Boris Johnson was full of praise for a vaccination centre in east Kent after visiting the site earlier today (Thursday, 16 December).
Describing it as ‘amazing’ and ‘certainly one of the best I have seen’, the prime minister was taken on a tour of the Saga vaccination centre by Clinical Lead and GP Dr Ash Peshen.
Speaking at the centre, Mr Johnson said: "I think the vaccination centre in Ramsgate is amazing. It's certainly one of the very best I've seen. But there are people up and down the country who are doing an incredible job.
“I thank Dr Ash and all his teams. The spirit of the volunteers here, the spirit of the doctors and nurses, the people who are preparing the jabs, the vaccinators themselves, it's just fantastic dedication.
"And I would just say to everybody in the Kent and Medway area the capacity is here. There's a huge army of enthusiastic volunteers and doctors and nurses who are willing to get the jabs into your arms so come forward and get them.’’
The centre in Ramsgate, is one of the biggest in the county; it has now given more than 200,000 vaccinations in a year, including more than 60,000 booster shots.
In response to the request to step up the booster programme, the team at Saga has managed to quadruple what it can offer and, until the end of the year, is now open seven days-a-week. It offers bookable and walk-in appointments.
Ash said: “We want to get the job done. We want to get as many people through the doors as possible to help protect them. Our centre is easy to access and close to Westwood Cross shopping centre, so you could shop and have a jab if you want.’’
The prime minister also met team members supporting the huge effort in Thanet, including nurse Lucy Le Vasseur, who has given an incredible 15,000 vaccinations in 12 months, with 700 in just one day at one point.
She said: “It’s such a great team here, we all work together. I have no idea how I have managed to get to 15,000; I just keep going – like so many people, I want us to be able to return to a normal life, so the more vaccinations we give, the sooner that may happen.’’
Last month Ash was named as the HSJ’s clinical leader of the year and the team running the vaccination programme in Thanet, was highly commended in the same awards for its work.
Across Kent and Medway, more than 3.2million vaccinations have been given, with teams throughout the county increasing capacity at speed. Boosters and vaccinations can be booked through the National Booking Service and new appointment slots are released regularly.