Friday 5th March 2021
The Duchess of Cornwall visited the Community Vaccination Centre at St Paul’s Church in Croydon (3rd March 2021).
The royal family has been vocal in its backing of the Covid-19 vaccination, with the Queen encouraging those hesitant about it to “think about other people rather than themselves”.
Her Royal Highness was greeted by Dr Agnelo Fernandes, GP lead for Croydon and introduced to NHS staff, clinicians, administrators, volunteer marshals and representatives from the church and local community.
Dr Agnelo Fernandes, GP lead for Croydon, said: “We are immensely grateful for the support of our staff and all the volunteers who have come forward to support our effort to protect as many people as possible from Covid-19 and it was an honour to see them to be recognised in this way.”
Andrew Brown, CEO of the BME Forum, said: “We are so proud to be working with our local doctors across Croydon’s NHS to help get the message out about the vaccine programme. We are working with our partners to engage our local communities to give them a chance to ask experts about the vaccine so that they can make informed decisions.”
Ima Miah, CEO of the Asian Resource, said: “This partnership has really shown that we can reach the most marginalised communities with a bottom up approach. The medical community and the voluntary sector have worked together to tackle misinformation and increase vaccination uptake in BAME communities. This visit by the Duchess of Cornwall will help to motivate the team even more and is a testament to our hard work.”
St Paul’s Church first started vaccinating on Wednesday 13th January 2021 and has delivered both the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccinations. The visit did not disrupt the vaccination of local residents who continued to have their injections while the Duchess of Cornwall spoke to staff, volunteers and patients.
St Paul’s is being used as a centre for administering the jabs and has delivered over 13,000 vaccines to protect Croydon residents from Covid-19.
The NHS in South West London has delivered over 360,000 vaccinations to date. While the religious services have moved online at St Paul’s, the church itself has been repurposed to facilitate the rollout of vaccinations in the Croydon area.
11 local GP practices have come together as part of two Primary Care Networks to run the vaccination centre.