As Wimbledon Centre Court vaccination centre gets ready to offer jabs up until midnight, it’s matron, vaccinators and volunteers have urged people to book their boosters.
Centre matron Christiana Pena said: “We are encouraging everyone to come in and have their booster to be fully protected against the new omicron virus. We’re open every day – and from Friday, we’re open until midnight. We’re open for walk-ins but you’ll be seen quicker if you book online.
“The walk-in wait can be a little long at the moment, but we’re working really hard to make sure everyone is seen. So come along, we look forward to meeting you.”
The extended opening hours have come in response to the national drive to offer all adults in the UK a booster jab before 31 December. In south west London, this means offering 300,000 jabs in advance of the New Year.
Getting a booster dose is vital for everyone aged over 18. The UK Health Security Agency has reported that second doses given more than 25 weeks ago will be significantly less effective against the Omicron variant. However, a third, booster dose prevents around 75% of people getting Covid symptoms.
Figures for October and November also show that 97% of adults with Covid-19 symptoms in south west London hospitals were not fully vaccinated with their first, second and booster dose.
Centre court vaccinator Geri said “We have been really busy for the past week, we’ve been very excited with the numbers we’ve been having. Everyone has been very happy to come and get their booster vaccine and the atmosphere has been absolutely lovely, very Christmassy. So please, book online and come and get your booster.”
As the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) called on all pregnant women to get vaccinated as soon as possible, mum and dad to be, Anne and Charlie came along for their boosters together. Anne said: “I’m 24 weeks pregnant, due in April with our first baby and we think this is the best way to protect both me and the little one. Do come along and get yours done as soon as you can, it’s pain free.”
While Centre Court is operating extended hours until Thursday 23 December, it’s still best to book an appointment if you can. Appointments can be made through the national booking service. Please keep checking availability as more appointments are loaded on to the system every day. Alternatively, call 119.
Walk-ins are still welcome, though you may have to wait longer. Find details of walk-in times for all our south west London centres here.