Vax roll-out accelerated – but not in Purley, Kenley or Coulsdon

The NHS vaccination programme cranked up an extra gear or two this week, as part of the national effort to offer millions of Britons a covid-19 booster vaccine by the end of the year in a race to protect the nation against the Omicron variant.

But not in the south of the borough of Croydon, it seems.

Croydon has nine vaccination centres across the borough operating extra hours to deliver as many jabs as possible, yet only one of those centres is in the south of the borough, at St Aidan’s Church Hall in Coulsdon. There are no “walk-ins” accepted at St Aidain’s. The next most southerly vaccination centre is to be found at Edridge Road, next to the Croydon Flyover in the town centre.

Inside Croydon asked the Croydon NHS Trust about this apparent oversight in provision for a large section of the borough, but had received no response by the time of publication.

Outlier: St Aidan’s, on Chipstead Valley Road, is the only vaccination centre in the south of Croydon

Early reports from the vaccination centres suggested long queues forming of those seeking “walk-in” appointments.

In the Centrale shopping centre, set-up for the purpose earlier this year and one of the largest emergency facilities operating in the borough, they were delivering more than 1,000 jabs per day last week, even before the Prime Minister’s weekend announcement of the acceleration in the system.

“Opening hours for vaccine centres have been extended and the number of appointments in place is being dramatically increased,” the Croydon NHS Trust announced in a press release this week.

Yesterday, the national online booking service was opened to everyone aged 18 and over.

Booster doses are now being made available to those whose second dose was more than three months ago – a reduction from the previous six-month gap. From yesterday, second doses were being made available for those aged 16 and 17.

Dr Nicola Jones, a local GP and clinical lead for the vaccination programme, said: “NHS staff are already working incredibly hard to deliver covid vaccines as swiftly as possible, but there is growing concern around the speed with which Omicron spreads

“Two doses do provide some protection, but a booster dramatically improves this, which is why we are doing everything in our power to rise to this extraordinary challenge and ensure that people receive as much protection as possible.

“Please don’t hesitate with your booking and get boosted now. The best way to get your vaccine is by booking online or by calling 119 – please do keep checking availability as we load more appointments onto the system every day.”

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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1 Response to Vax roll-out accelerated – but not in Purley, Kenley or Coulsdon

  1. Dave West says:

    Whilst on the surface the vaccination programme is a triumph, it’s actually been hit and miss and really dependent on individuals gaming the system to get appointments and the front line staff busting a gut delivering the jabs (mostly the pharmacies in my experience as my GP has not been involved at all). In the initial roll-out, I managed to book appointments online when the website was telling me I couldn’t; weeks later (and after my NHS record was showing me as jabbed), I started getting texts and letters from the NHS encouraging me to come forward.

    Clearly they have no idea who has and hasn’t been vaccinated and have just thrown everything at it in the hope that people will do the right thing. Not a great use of taxpayers money. Even the smallest company these days has a client database so they they can target their marketing – clearly the NHS with all the money poured into it has not yet reached the end of the 20th century let alone the 21st.

    Now we have to test ourselves, but the pop up test centre outside Allders has now run out as have the three pharmacies where I asked. Tried online – crashed twice but eventually let me in only to tell me that there was no availability and to try again another time. Gaming the system, I tried again but this time gave my mother’s address in Selsdon rather than my own in Shirley. No problem, we’ll send one to you to arrive tomorrow it said. It won’t of course because we’re only getting a delivery every three or four days, but why the difference between a CR0 and a CR2 postcode??

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