What a day! A huge effort to deliver the COVID-19 vaccine to people experiencing homelessness resulted in around 200 receiving the vaccine at a special pop-up clinic at the Bournemouth YMCA today. Everyone vaccinated is homeless, rough sleeping or has been temporarily housed by Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council due to the COVID pandemic.
To make today possible Dr Maggie Kirk GP, Founder of the HealthBus Trust charity, and Kate Hibbit, Operations Director, have been working tirelessly with the South Coast Medical Group, BCP Council, the YMCA Bournemouth, St Mungo’s, ‘We are with you’, the Ministry of Defence and other interested parties.
Kate Hibbitt said, “People who die on the streets, often die from treatable medical conditions. We need to ensure that they are given the same life chances as others and by receiving the COVID vaccination that will be one less thing for them to worry about.”
For people living on the streets or in temporary accommodation, it’s very difficult to take measures to prevent the pandemic from spreading, such as social distancing and self-isolation. In addition, many of them suffer from conditions that makes the virus a serious threat to their health.
Today’s vaccinations have been a significant achievement in providing dignified professional medical care and emotional support to those experiencing homelessness in the Bournemouth area.
We’d also like to say a big thank you to everyone who made today possible, including all the patients who made it to the YMCA to get their vaccination, and a special thank you to those who agreed to be photographed and filmed.
- Bournemouth Echo article on the day before https://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/19109862.covid-bournemouth-healthbus-vaccinate-22-homeless-people/
- Bournemouth Echo article on the day of vaccinations https://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/19115423.covid-homeless-vaccinated-ymva-bournemouth/
- A video of BBC News South Today posted on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/thehealthbus/posts/258981142383829