Yasmin Baker, an 18-year-old first year medical student studying at Imperial College London, has been volunteering her services since the start of the vaccination programme.
Over 9,000 people have been vaccinated so far in one of the three vaccination centres in Kensington and Chelsea. The majority are people over 80, although a number of 75 to 79 year olds have also been vaccinated.
Volunteers are playing a major role in the national coronavirus vaccination programme. Yasmin got involved when her university Imperial College London approached her to ask if she wanted to take part. Starting in administration and ushering, Yasmin was trained up to be a vaccinator and now works at two centres in Kensington and Chelsea. She volunteers once a week and gave more of her time to the programme over Christmas and New Year.
Yasmin said she really enjoys working at the vaccine centres and that she is proud to take part in the vaccine rollout; she feels she is making a difference.
“It has been great to put into practice some of the things that I have learnt whilst studying my degree. Knowing that you've played your small role in the fight to beat COVID is very rewarding.
“Many of the people I have vaccinated are excited to get the vaccine. There is a sense of pride among them – many feel that they are doing their part to end the pandemic.”
Addressing the concerns some people have, Yasmin said:
“If you are concerned about the vaccine, please do some research using credible sources such as the NHS website and Public Health England.”
Yasmin has said it is also important that people of different backgrounds take the vaccine when offered it. People in BAME communities have been disproportionally affected by coronavirus. So far, of everyone offered the vaccine, around 90 per cent of people are accepting it. A virtual event on Sunday 24 January debunked myths around the vaccine – find out more and watch a recording online.
Yasmin is looking forward to seeing friends and family once things get back to normal.
Yasmin has been enjoying her university experience at Imperial College London; making new friends and joining societies. Yasmin continues to work as vaccinator alongside her studies and looks forward to a positive future beyond the pandemic.
The NHS aims to have the top four categories of people, the most at risk, all vaccinated by the middle of February. These are:
- Residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
- All those aged 80 and over, plus frontline health and social care staff
- All those aged 75 and over
- All those aged 70 and over, plus those who are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (most people who were shielding fall into this category)
Get answers to some of the most common questions around the Coronavirus vaccine in our Covid information portal.