As everyday life has returned to a kind of normality, it’s easy to feel like COVID is behind us.
But dedicated vaccinators have been busy administering 600 boosters a day at Accrington’s Acorn Primary Health Care Centre since the autumn roll-out began in early September.
The Acorn Centre in Accrington has administered over 100,000 Vaccinations since the start of the Vaccination site opening in December 2020. Throughout the Autumn booster campaign in 2022 the team have vaccinated over 6,500* people! (*as of mid-September)
Are you one of the thousands of eligible local residents who have had your autumn booster already?
If not, it’s not too late to get your jab and continue protecting yourself and your loved ones.
To mark almost two years since the vaccination programme began, we wanted to introduce you to one of the many hardworking heroes behind our local vaccine effort.
Nigat Sultana is the CEO of East Lancashire Alliance.
She’s been responsible for leading Hyndburn’s team of 45 vaccinators and administrative colleagues through the initiative since the site opened at the Acorn Centre in December 2020.
Speaking to Nigat in the middle of the autumn booster roll-out, she reflected on the dedication and commitment of her team over the past two years.
Nigat said: “I’m so proud of them for their hard work and dedication. Some days have been really hard, and at times it’s been risky.
“But they’ve carried on and stayed committed to the vaccination programme.”
“I’ve worked in the NHS for 33 years, and I’m known to be a very can-do person. If I know what the ask is, I get on with it and operationalise it, and that’s exactly what we’ve done here as a team.”
And the team’s work goes beyond the Acorn Centre itself, as they’ve played a proactive role in getting out into the community to help as many people as possible develop immunity against the virus through vaccination.
Nigat added: “A lot of people don’t know we were the only site in Pennine Lancashire that went out to 68 schools, as well as hard-to-reach communities – setting up in local mosques and community centres.”
As part of the Autumn Covid Booster Vaccination Programme, you can drop into the Acorn Centre’s walk-in clinics or book your spot online using the national vaccination booking website.
So, what’s Nigat’s message to the people of Hyndburn who haven’t yet been for their booster?
She said: “It’s important to carry on being vaccinated against the virus. Just because nobody is wearing masks, shops are open as normal without restrictions, and you’re not seeing a lot on social media about it, it doesn’t mean the infection has gone away.
“People are still getting Covid, and it’s the ones at risk, like the elderly, taking it more seriously – but they’re the ones who experience the impact of those who don’t.”
“If your booster is due, come along to your local vaccination site to see our very experienced staff, who have been doing this for two years now.”
How to play your part
If you’re reading this, we truly value your efforts in coming together to look after each other during the pandemic.
You still have an important role to play in staying safe and protecting those around you by getting boosted. This way, we can ensure Hyndburn continues to lead the way in the fight against the virus.
The autumn booster against Covid-19 is available for:
- All adults aged 50 years and over
- Frontline health and social care workers
- People aged 5 to 49 who are in a clinical risk group
- People aged 5 to 49 who are household contacts of people with immunosuppression
- Carers aged 16 to 49
On behalf of the entire Hyndburn community, we want to say a huge thank you to Nigat and her team of vaccinators and administrative colleagues who have led our local vaccination programme and dedicated themselves to shielding our community against COVID-19.
Book your booster at the Acorn Centre here: https://www.nhs.uk/book-a-coronavirus-vaccination/