Giving back to the community may have been the main driver for Larvic Pharmacy setting up a pharmacy-led Covid vaccination site, but patient comfort was important too.
Vaccination rates in the Palfrey area running at five per cent lower than in the rest of the borough. The pharmacy team are passionate about providing local residents with the necessary facilities and information about the virus and the vaccine.
Neelam Shinh, professional standards and support pharmacist at the pharmacy explains: “We understand first hand some of the reasons behind the vaccine hesitancy expressed by local people. By operating this vaccination centre, we are in an ideal position to dispel myths, provide language and wheelchair assistance and just give people that aren’t quite to be ready to be vaccinated the chance to see for themselves what’s involved.
“Pharmacies like ours play a prominent community role. We have a duty to protect and support people as best we can.”
The pharmacy team, includes Apprentice Pharmacy Services Assistant, Faiza Hoque. The 18-year-old began her apprenticeship in August 2020 and has worked throughout the pandemic. Part of her responsibilities will now include welcoming people to the centre and guiding them through the vaccination process.
“The best part of my apprenticeship by far is the patient interaction,” said Faiza. “It means a lot to see people smile after we’ve helped them, making a real difference to their health and wellbeing.
“This is something I want to take further as part of the vaccination centre operations team. I have been vaccinated to protect my family and colleagues so I am happy to speak to people my age about this, especially if they’re nervous or worried.”
She added: “My apprenticeship is full of interesting, fun and enjoyable moments. I was attracted to the role because of its active, hands on nature. I prefer this to studying full-time. I’ve discovered where my career lies.”