Boyatt Pharmacy and St Peter’s Church ready to start vaccinating 2,000 people a week.
St Peter’s Church, Boyatt Wood Eastleigh is playing a key role in the Hampshire COVID-19 vaccination effort.
With the NHS COVID-19 vaccination programme well underway local communities and businesses have been coming together to ensure they can help bring an end to the pandemic.
Among them is St Peter’s Church which been adapted for use by Boyatt Pharmacy as a temporary COVID-19 vaccination centre for the local Eastleigh community. With the new space, Boyatt Pharmacy is expecting to be able to vaccinate 2,000 people a week for six months, with the first vaccinations taking place on Thursday 28th January.
Stephen Collyer, Churchwarden St Peter’s Church, Boyatt Wood said: “At St Peter’s we believe that God calls us to share his love in Jesus with our community. The vaccination centre is all about keeping people safe and saving lives, and it is a privilege and honour to be invited to help with this – and we believe that at the moment it’s at the heart of our calling to love our neighbour.”
The Right Reverend, Dr Tim Dakin, Bishop of Winchester said: “Inspired by Jesus and his mission, churches throughout the diocese have been playing a vital role offering spiritual and practical care to their communities. St Peter’s Church is one of many churches across the diocese which have been central to helping our communities during the pandemic, remaining steadfast in their faith throughout this difficult time. I am pleased to see the team take a role in the vaccination efforts, which we pray will mark the beginning of the end of this pandemic.”
Although Boyatt Pharmacy wanted to ensure that local pharmacies are part of the national roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine, it lacked the necessary space required to safely administer vaccinations while maintaining social distancing. As a solution, St Peter’s Church agreed to allow the pharmacy temporary use of their space, which has been largely vacant due to social restrictions and services being held online.
Mitesh Patel, Boyatt Pharmacy owner said: “I’d like to say a massive thank you to St Peter’s Church. Having this space means we can vaccinate a lot more patients in Hampshire. It’s amazing that the church has come together with a community service like Pharmacy.”
To ensure the building was fit for purpose, Boyatt Pharmacy have installed fridges, burglar alarms, new computers, and social distancing measures. The church floor has also been covered with a special film which can be easily cleaned, and plastic chairs have been brought in for the newly created waiting room.
Volunteers are still needed to enable the new vaccination centre to operate at full capacity and immunise as many members of the community as possible. The centre requires stewards to assist people with safely entering and exiting the building, as well as those who can input data and take bookings.
Throughout the pandemic St Peter’s Church has been helping its community stay connected by providing online services on Zoom, and group activities such as fortnightly quizzes.