Posted on: 2 September 2021
On Friday 13 August, the last patient walked through the doors of our Heathrow Mass Vaccination Centre. Greeted with a round of applause, we were reminded of the milestones we achieved in the five months since the centre opened.
Dedicated volunteers and staff from CNWL, Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals, Hillingdon Council and Heathrow Airport worked around the clock to get the centre open, deliver thousands of life-saving jabs each week and support the largest vaccination programme in British history. In this short space of time, the site in Hillingdon vaccinated over 100,000 people – bringing protection to our local community, preventing illness and saving lives.
Our teams have been sent a thank you card and badge, a symbol of gratitude for the incredible efforts and hard work. You all made a HUGE difference! The badge depicts a set of wings, representing the new heights and success the centre has accomplished.
Claire Murdoch, Chief Executive, said, “We cheered the first patient in and the last patient out. Passion, skill, dedication and pride in a job well done. Thank you to British Airways for giving us your headquarters at Compass House, it’s time for you to take it back and get people flying!”
Maria O’Brien, Chief Nurse, said:
"This was really fabulous work – it was a lot more clinically demanding than people may think. Having skilled nurses leading and advising, with pharmacists delivering the batches, made this successful but also very safe. Thank you everyone.”
After the doors closed, CNWL colleagues gathered to celebrate with a tea party. There were emotional scenes as team members came together to say goodbye and acknowledge the achievements over the last five months. You can see pictures below.
Chloe Vaziri, Head of Operations, said:
“This service has been a true collaboration between multiple organisations and feels like a community enterprise. It was hard work but so worthwhile. I’m humbled by the level of commitment from all of those who have been involved and feel honoured to have been a part of it. As we come to the end of our journey, we are so proud and cannot thank everyone enough!”
Anshu Rayan, Deputy Chief Pharmacist, said:
“As the sun set over Heathrow Vaccination Centre we are reminded of all we achieved. Over 100,000 people vaccinated and so many lives saved. Thank you to all our fantastic volunteers, we are so grateful for your time, effort and enthusiasm.”
We would also like to thank local sponsors and donors for their contributions throughout the operation of the centre. As a final farewell, the Hilton Hotel is hosting a celebratory event for volunteers and staff members this week.
Everyone aged over 16 is now eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine and you don’t need an appointment. Find a local walk-in site here.