Medical student administers Covid-19 vaccine to the homeless

A student from Keele University’s School of Medicine has joined the national vaccine effort by administering the Covid-19 vaccine to homeless people in Shrewsbury.

Rebecca Black, a fifth-year Medical Student, has been administering the vaccine as part of a placement at Riverside Medical Practice in Shrewsbury where she is supporting the work of GP Dr Nicola Roberts, who has a specific interest in the health of homeless people.

Dr Roberts has been organising vaccinations for the homeless community with help from Shropshire Council and The Shrewsbury Ark, a support and day centre facility for the homeless and vulnerable people, which will continue until all individuals receive their second dose of the vaccine.

Rebecca said: “Holding a vaccinating day led by Dr Roberts and with help from the mental health advanced nurse practitioner, Dylan Roberts, was fantastic. Being able to take the vaccine out into the community – with the help of a mini fridge to keep the vaccine at the correct temperature – provided us with the opportunity to be more flexible in giving the vaccines and going to a place where many of the target group were staying or were nearby.

“The homeless population are a vulnerable group of individuals, often with challenging living conditions that don’t optimise immune systems along with multiple co-morbidities. Therefore, ensuring they are included in this huge vaccination effort is extremely important and being part of that felt wonderful.”

Dr Roberts said: “At Riverside we really enjoy having medical students and welcoming them to our team. It has been a pleasure to share our outreach work to the homeless with Rebecca and have her help in delivering covid vaccines to this vulnerable group.”