The vaccine service recognises that to reach this vulnerable group they need to ramp up their efforts by working closely with shelters and charities in the area, to ensure that homeless people who may not be registered with a GP or have access to a computer or phone can still get protected against the virus.
The Shrewsbury Ark, the Shropshire-based charity which provides ongoing support and day centre facilities for the homeless and vulnerable in the community, opened its doors to Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin’s Covid-19 vaccination team on Tuesday this week to help give homeless and vulnerable people the opportunity to boost their immunity against Covid-19.
The vaccination clinic offered those attending the chance to receive either their first, second or booster vaccine.
This was the latest in a number of visits to The Shrewsbury Ark and other venues across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin over the past few years since the pandemic began.
Michael Randall, a service user at The Shrewsbury Ark, was one of the many to come forward and get his vaccine at the clinic.
He said: “I’ve had my jab to make sure I don’t catch Covid this winter. It was good that it was available, and I had the opportunity to get it. It made things a lot easier for me to access this service by them coming to The Ark."
Emily Bell, chair of the Shrewsbury Ark, said: “Access to healthcare is a really big problem if you’re homeless, so to be able to have a safe environment here at The Ark where we can ensure everyone can keep up to date with their vaccinations is brilliant.
“It was lovely to see so many people come forward today and top up their protection as we lead into what can be a very challenging winter period for them.”
Linda Hart, clinical team lead for Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, who was on hand to administer the vaccines to those who came forward, said: “We know that people without a permanent home are at even greater risk of catching coronavirus, and often have very poor outcomes which can result in hospitalisation, and so it is important for us to give them the opportunity to get vaccinated and actually come to them.
“Anybody could find themselves in a situation where they need support so being able to bring vaccines into an environment where people are familiar with their surroundings and with people they trust is brilliant. I would like to thank The Shrewsbury Ark for their support and helping us set up this clinic.
“Finally, I would urge anyone who is eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine to take up the offer as soon as possible, to protect themselves, their loved ones, and the wider community ahead of winter.”
Covid-19 autumn boosters are available for anyone aged 50 and over, people who have a long-term health condition, pregnant women, and anyone who has a weakened immune system or living with someone with a weakened immune system.
If you have not yet had a vaccine or know someone who needs theirs, it’s not too late for a first, second, or booster dose.
Arrange yours now - book online, call NHS 119 or head to a walk-in clinic to protect yourself and your loved ones, and to help stop the spread of Covid-19.
You do not need to be registered with a GP, have proof of address, immigration status, ID or an NHS number to get vaccinated.
To find out more about the Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin vaccination programme visit stwics.org.uk.