Sheffield GP surgery reveals how its beat vaccine spepticism after 20,000th patient jabbed

A GP surgery in Sheffield celebrated giving the Covid vaccine to its 20,000th patient earlier today as the unprecedented inoculation effort continued apace in the city.

Thursday, 15th April 2021, 2:36 pm

The Belgrave Medical Centre on Asline Road in Highfield has been vaccinating patients against coronavirus in the Heeley Plus Primary Care Network of nine GP surgeries since January.

In that time, 260,000 people in Sheffield have been given their first vaccine dose, with around 19,000 of those coming from the Heeley Plus network alone.

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Belgrave Medical Centre reaches vaccine milestone. Pictured is Angus Hunter recieving his vaccine from Janice Wake. Picture: Chris Etchells

And in the last few weeks, staff have moved on to giving second doses to patients as well, meaning they have now given the long-awaited jabs to 20,000 grateful people in total.

Belgrave GP Dr Gasan Chetty said the rollout had been ‘hard work’, but that vaccinating so many people in such a short period of time was a real achievement for everyone involved.

He said: “We have had some scepticism but we worked hard on that by appealing to hearts and minds and keeping it factual.

“There was some hesitancy among our Asian patients but we used the local Imams and mosques to deliver the message and encourage the local population to to take up the vaccine.

Pictured are Andy Jackson, Manager Heeley Trust, Andy Moore, Practice Manager, and Dr Gasan Chetty, GP lead. Picture: Chris Etchells

“We’ve also had two vaccination sessions at the Makki Mosque on Plantation Road and also drop-in sessions which have made a real difference.

“Some of the people we are vaccinating are individuals who have been isolating for almost a year and their first trip out was to get the vaccine - it is life-changing.”

On Thursday morning, volunteers from the Heeley Development Corporation were helping guide patients through the medical centre.

One of those, Sue Quinn from Norton Lees, said she decided to volunteer as being part of such an important national effort ‘just seemed like the right thing to do’.

Pictured is volunteer Anna Kime. Picture: Chris Etchells

And one of those being vaccinated was Robert Clegg, 65, from Gleadless, who was having his second dose after receiving his first in February.

He said he was looking forward to socialising more than he had over the last year and that he had no hesitancy about taking up the vaccine when he was offered it.

“The alternative is just not worth thinking about, is it?” he added.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.