Northampton vaccination site gives more than 1,300 Covid-19 jabs in a single day with just eight vaccinators
The monumental figure was reached after the site had daily done more than a thousand for months
A vaccination clinic in Northampton gave more than 1,300 Covid-19 jabs in a single day with just eight vaccinators, many of whom were volunteers travelling from all over the UK to lend a hand.
Whitefields Surgery, found on Hunsbury Hill Road, reached the dazzling figure on December 19 after months of regularly hitting a thousand jabs a day.
The site is still running today and lead jointly by Dinesh Tosar, who owns the surgery's accompanying pharmacy 'Unidrugs', and Nilesh Kumar, who acts as the clinical lead.
Mr Kumar said: "We were over the moon to be able to exceed a target that all of the staff wanted to hit. The fact that we were able to get so many people protected from this virus is exactly what we set out to do.
"Starting out, we had the target of doing a thousand vaccinations a day.
"We struggled to reach that number at first because of NHS supply problems getting the vaccines to the site. Once those were resolved we were able to meet that target pretty easily.
"We're lucky we have the resources of staffing, including nurses, doctors, pharmacists and some people who, while they aren't registered medical practitioners, have been rigorously trained both in private classes and by the NHS to administer the vaccines."
Unlike at some other NHS clinics, Mr Tosar and Mr Kumar are able to pay their staff, meaning even students as young as 16 are able to chip in, earning some spending money whilst also fighting a pandemic.
Even so, the clinic rarely exceeds 22 staff on a given day, broken up into eight vaccinators, who apply the jab, eight administrators, who fill out the paperwork, and up to six marshalls to show people where to go.
Mr Kumar added: "I hope people can appreciate the work and effort that people are putting in to help the general population and that they keep getting their jabs as needed.
"The only way to keep the deaths low is to get boosted and protect not just ourselves, but the people around us too."
While many of the site's staff are local to Northampton, others have come from further afield. One voluntarily came from Essex, still more from Milton Keynes, Nottingham, Walsall, Derby and Birmingham.
One single mum of two, Saiqa Janjua, is a qualified vaccinator who travels all the way from central Birmingham every weekend to help administer the vaccine.
When asked why she makes the trip, Saiqa said that the Northampton site is much better run than most of the sites she has seen in Birmingham, an achievement she attributes to Mr Kumar.
She said: "I think this work is important because Covid-19 isn't just a UK problem, but a global one and if we want to get back to normal, or rather a new normal, then getting the vaccine is the fastest way to do that. And it's not just for older people.
"Speaking as someone who is Asian, a lot of Asian families have multiple generations living under one roof.
"One of my friends has several strapping nephews who live with them and, now that they are starting to get back to parties and socialising, it's important they protect themselves and the people back home.
"I also think the staff have been absolutely fantastic, especially since some of them have come out of retirement to help. The fact that they would leave their restful days in retirement to lend a hand is just brilliant.
"I am also one of the fastest vaccinators and average a vaccine every one-and-a-half minutes or so, which means the administrators and marshalls are working just as hard to keep up.
"For me, to see the difference, compared to some of the sites in Birmingham, it is just a well oiled machine and that is a testament to Nilesh."
People are still encouraged to visit the clinic and others like it if they have not had their vaccinations.
Whitefields Surgery offers a walk-in service, dates for which can be checked on their website.