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NHS community teams set up pop-up clinic at well-known Portsmouth Boxing Academy to boost COVID-19 vaccine uptake

Man being vaccinated in front of boxing ring

The COVID-19 vaccination team at Solent NHS Trust are going the extra mile to reach even more eligible people who have not yet received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

NHS staff from the four large-scale vaccine centres, run by Solent NHS Trust, held a pop-up vaccination clinic at the well-known, Heart of Portsmouth Boxing Academy.

Linking in with England Boxing's #WinWithTheJab campaign, which hopes to address the doubts of people, in particular those connected to boxing and are yet to take up the offer of a jab, teams of vaccinators were at the academy offering COVID-19 vaccinations.

Heart of Portsmouth Head Coach and England Boxing Talent Pathway Coach, Q Shillingford, said: “We are hoping through this campaign to address some of those issues and convince people that having the COVID-19 jab when they are offered it is the right thing to do.

Those involved in amateur boxing are really missing gyms and our way of life in general, but this vaccine offers us a way out.”

With almost 1,000 clubs and 20,000 members around the country, at the onset of the pandemic, England Boxing is uniquely placed to help the NHS reach local communities.

Clinical teams alongside vaccinators are reaching out to people in the community who have not yet booked an appointment, supporting them to receive their vaccination or talking about vaccine safety and efficacy.  This will help those who are not easily able to visit the vaccination centres or those who may have questions about the vaccine.

Angela Anderson, Clinical Director for the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme at Solent NHS Trust who worked closely with the academy to set up the pop-up clinic, said: “Holding the clinic at the boxing academy will help us to vaccinate even more eligible people in Portsmouth. It is fantastic to offer vaccinations to people in the boxing community, as well as eligible people in their families. Our teams were on hand to offer support, guiding people through their vaccination experience in a safe and reassuring way.

“It has been a real team effort and I would like to thank everyone at the academy who have come together to support the pop-up vaccination clinic. It’s one of the latest examples of how we’re working creatively to reach even more people and offer them the opportunity to protect themselves against COVID-19.”

People should continue following the Government’s guidelines on Hands, Face, Space and Fresh Air.

Vaccination appointments are available at the four Solent NHS Trust run large-scale COVID-19 vaccination centres in Portsmouth, Southampton, Basingstoke and the Isle of Wight to those who are eligible. People can book their jabs online via the National Booking System or call 119.

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