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‘Special’ vaccination team celebrated as OUH hospital hub ends

25/02/2022

Nearly 60,000 COVID-19 jabs have been delivered at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH) as the vaccine hub at the Churchill Hospital closed its doors for the final time yesterday (Thursday 24 February).

The hub, hosted at the Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism (OCDEM) on the OUH-run Churchill site, administered c.59,000 vaccines to Trust staff, patients, and the general public since first opening in December 2020.

Lydia Owen, Winter Vaccination Team Lead Nurse, said: "It has been a challenging but very rewarding time for the entire team. Keeping pace with the changes brought by lockdowns, new variants, and government policy has kept everyone on their toes.

"It has been a supreme effort by the whole team to deliver this crucial service to so many people, so thank you to everyone involved – from vaccinators to volunteers – who have made it possible."

The first COVID-19 vaccinations by OUH were administered on Tuesday 8 December 2020, an historic day for the NHS as the Churchill was one of just 50 hospital hubs to deliver the vaccine and launch the UK's vaccination programme (the world's first) using the Pfizer vaccine for our most vulnerable citizens.

Less than a month later and the centre saw the world’s first ever Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine given outside clinical trials given by Sam Foster, Chief Nursing Officer at OUH.

She said: "We are very proud of the special role that the Churchill Hospital has played in vaccinating and keeping as many of our staff and patients, as well as members of the community, as safe as possible.

"The vaccination team has helped save thousands of lives so thank you to all the staff who have been involved in this immense effort. From clinical to digital staff, and from estates to pharmacy colleagues, so many have played their part – it has been a true OneTeamOneOUH effort."

At its busiest, the centre was providing more than 700 vaccinations a day.

David Walliker, Chief Digital and Partnership Officer who oversaw the launch of the vaccination centre, said: "Vaccination is the best way for us to protect each other, and our staff have gone above and beyond to deliver thousands of life-saving jabs for people in Oxfordshire and beyond.

"Thank you to the vaccination team, who were redeployed from their previous roles at the Trust, for running such an efficient service to staff and the public over the last 14 months.

"It is not too late to get your first or second COVID-19 jab or your booster, and we urge anyone who has not yet done so to book an appointment."

Visit the NHS booking system website or call 119 to find your nearest vaccination centre and book an appointment. First, second, third (for clinically vulnerable people), or booster doses can be booked.

More information about the vaccine, including side effects and safety, can also be found on the NHS website.