The town centre was a hive of activity this weekend (19-21 November), with more than one person being jabbed every minute – equating to a whopping 1,625 locals getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
Walk-in clinics have proved to be popular services with Silhillians – as nearly 1,300 people were vaccinated the weekend before at the mobile vaccine van.
Due to this strong demand, Solihull Council has worked with the local NHS COVID-19 vaccination service to convert the Council’s community test hub, in-between Pret a Manger and Halifax bank on Solihull High Street, to a permanent vaccination centre.
It is open daily, from 8am to 6pm. The mobile vaccine van will also be in Mell Square today and tomorrow (22-23 November, 9:00am-4:00pm).
People from Solihull can use this service by simply turning up, no appointment is necessary to receive first, second or booster doses (boosters must be at least 6 months or 182 days after second doses). Alternatively residents can book an appointment at the centre via the national booking system.
This new service provides an extra opportunity for residents to get vaccinated easily. Alternatively, some local GPs are also offering booster vaccinations; if your surgery is offering this, they will contact you directly, so please wait to hear from them first.
Morag Gates, COVID-19 Vaccination Programme Director said:
“It has been fantastic to see so many people visiting the vaccination vans in Mell Square in recent weeks, and in response to this, we have decided to create a permanent vaccination centre in the heart of Solihull town centre.
“Local people will be able to walk-in without an appointment, or book an appointment if they prefer, for their first, second or booster COVID-19 vaccination. We are hopeful that this new town centre facility will help to provide easy and convenient access for people to have their vaccinations in the borough.”
Dr Tara Shah, GP Principal Bosworth Medical Group, Clinical Director for North Solihull Primary Care Network (PCN) & National Screening Committee (NCS) COVID Vaccination Clinical Lead has said:
“Getting our recommended COVID vaccinations is the single most important action we can all take to protect ourselves and others from the virus. Particularly at this time of year, when the temperatures drop and we begin to mix more indoors.
“Me and colleagues from 24 GP practices covering the 5 PCN’s across Solihull are vaccinating 7 days a week. Please wait to be called to book your appointment and remember we will only contact you when it is the right time, for example at 6 months onwards for a booster jab.
“Of course if you prefer and it is more convenient then you can visit a mobile or walk-in clinic such as the one in the town centre, or book an appointment at a mass vaccination centre - again you should only do this when you have left the correct amount of time between doses.”
Solihull Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health, Councillor Tony Dicicco, commented:
“Getting your full course of COVID-19 jabs, and not forgetting your flu jab, is the best way to protect yourself, your family and friends this winter. I am pleased our colleagues in the NHS are able to offer this new service in the centre of Solihull.
“Our local COVID-19 figures remain high and I urge everybody to remain cautious – keep wearing face coverings indoors and in crowds – the hands, face, space, ventilation mantra works for COVID, flu and the other winter illnesses.
Ruth Tennant, Solihull’s Director of Public Health, added:
“We know that this winter will be hard for the local NHS, as the usual respiratory illnesses, stomach bugs and flu begin to recirculate, in addition to COVID-19. Our hospitals are extremely busy, so if you’re yet to do so, please join the 81% of vaccinated Solihull residents and get along to the vaccine walk-in centre.
“Vaccines are life savers, 89% of people currently in critical care with COVID-19 are not fully vaccinated, so please don’t miss out, get vaccinated to keep well this winter!
“The Council is transferring its COVID-19 testing services to the old Dorothy Perkins shop in Mell Square from Thursday 18 November. Like before, this is a service for people who do not have COVID-19 symptoms to pop-in and get a quick lateral flow test, or pick up test kits to use at home. The opening hours are: 8am to 4:30pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 4:30pm Saturdays and 10am to 3:30pm on Sundays.
“We are also continuing to send out our mobile community COVID-19 testing unit to serve residents in other parts of the borough.”