Keele University doctors administer Keele-made Covid-19 vaccine to local patients

Doctors from Keele’s School of Medicine are playing their part in the Covid-19 vaccination roll-out by administering vaccines in their own local surgeries, including the vaccine made on Keele’s campus.

The Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine is being manufactured for the UK at a number of sites including one at Keele, following an agreement between AstraZeneca and Cobra Biologics, a tenant on Keele’s Science and Innovation Park.

Now, the vaccination process from manufacture to administration has come full circle for Keele's Professor Christian Mallen and Dr Adrian Chudyk, who also work as GPs in Newcastle-under-Lyme and Leek respectively, and have been vaccinating their patients with the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

In addition, Professor Mallen – Head of Keele’s School of Medicine – has also extended his thanks to the retired Keele GPs, as well as students and volunteers, who have all stepped up to help with the vaccination programme to ensure that as many people as possible can be given their Covid-19 vaccine.

Dr Chudyk described the spirit of camaraderie and team effort on display at local vaccination sites such as theirs as “absolutely amazing”, adding that there had been very positive feedback so far from patients and their families about the vaccination programme, a sentiment echoed by Professor Mallen.

Professor Mallen said: “I’ve been so impressed with the local response to the Covid vaccination programme. Local general practice teams are rising to the challenge delivering thousands of vaccines daily whilst also maintaining their hugely busy clinical workloads.

“The commitment of colleagues across primary and secondary care to protecting the local community is inspirational and I feel very privileged to be working alongside such heroes. The fact the site in Keele has been involved with the manufacture of the vaccine makes this even more significant.”

Dr Chudyk said: “My personal experience of the recently commenced immunisation against Covid-19 in our area provided me with a much-needed morale boost. I have experienced unprecedented good will, support, team spirit and understanding from our colleagues from Leek and Biddulph Primary Care Network, which allowed us not only to roll out a joint vaccination site at Park Medical Centre, but also crucially to continue with normal activities in all local surgeries.

“We are currently in the process of administering our third vaccine batch and being now able to use the Oxford/AZ vaccine, that our neighbour from Keele, Cobra Biologics has been engaged with, is an additional reason to be proud.”

Peter Coleman, CEO of Cobra Biologics added: “I’m sure that I speak on behalf of my colleagues at Cobra Biologics when I say that it feels significant that a vaccine that we have been involved with since early 2020, is now being administered to the local community.”