‘Get your vaccine’: Horsham GP’s message as 85 per cent of jab centre’s over 18s get first dose

A Horsham GP is urging young people in the area to come forward for their vaccine amid a successful rollout.

Monday, 14th June 2021, 9:52 am

Dr Matt Greenwood who is running the Christ’s Hospital vaccination centre said he wants to see employers offer flexibility to let their workers come and get jabbed.

But he praised people in the district – saying 85 per cent of over 18s have had their first jab in his cohort.

Dr Greenwood said: “It’s really nice. It’s lovely to see that everyone in the Horsham area and around Mid Sussex are getting engaged with it.

Staff and volunteers at the Christ's Hospital vaccine centre
Staff and volunteers at the Christ's Hospital vaccine centre

“The vaccination rates are huge.”

Sixty per cent of 18-30 year-olds have now received their first dose, he added, but he is encouraging the others to come forward as he said some young people may not have up to date contact details registered at their GP surgery.

The Christ’s Hospital centre has the highest rate of vaccination among young people in Sussex, he said.

The centre launched its vax-a-mate scheme – in a bid to boost uptake among you people, Dr Greenwood said.

Dr Matt Greenwood

He added: “Come in with friends. I’m hoping we will get to a big population of young people. But it’s dependent on them coming forward.”

Dr Greenwood urged people to show understanding and compassion to his team as they work at between 130 and 150 per cent of their usual capacity – something they have been doing for around six months.

This is in addition to the ‘major’ roll of the vaccine roll out which he said meant staff were working ‘flat out’ to provide the best care in both general practice and the vaccination programme.

Dr Greenwood praised the organisers of the Horsham District Covid19 Vaccination Info Hub Facebook group, which now has more than 5,000 members.

Dr Daphne Coutroubis

He said the volunteers behind it, as well as staff and volunteers at the Christ’s Hospital centre, had helped the vaccine roll out smoothly.

A large majority of the young people who have now had jabs, including a large number on Wednesday, heard about the opportunity to visit walk in clinics thanks to the group, Michael Jacobs - who runs the group with his father Darryl in conjunction with the local NHS commission - said.

Dr Greenwood also praised local businesses including Gwyn’s Bakery, Muffin Break, Tesco, Domino’s and New Haldi, who have donated food and drink to keep the team fuelled.

And he hailed the work of James, Kay, Greg and Nick at Horsham District Council as well as Coutyard Surgery’s practice manager Donna Stevens who were ‘instrumental’ in the vaccine centre’s ‘amazing performance’.

Dr Daphne Coutroubis, also a GP working at the vaccination centre, said: “We could not be doing it without the volunteers. This is amazing. It was Matt’s vision.”