The first dedicated vaccination centre for COVID-19 vaccines has been opened in Kingston, as the UK begins to unlock from the third lockdown of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Hawks Road Clinic in Norbiton, Kingston-upon-Thames, has been running under the NHS for decades to provide healthcare services (including optometry and contraception services) but has put these services on hold to distribute vaccines against the coronavirus for the borough. As with much of Greater London, Kingston-upon-Thames has been hard hit during the ‘third wave’ of coronavirus infections across the United Kingdom, reaching a peak of 802 cases per 100,000 people at any one time in January (according to Public Health England). 

South West London joined the rest of the UK in its target of offering vaccinations to all over the age of 70 and the clinically extremely vulnerable. Introducing the dedicated mass vaccination centres should bring the area back up to speed and increase the accessibility to vaccinations across the borough. The Hawks Road Clinic will serve as the main vaccine distribution centre for many boroughs in south-west London - including Mitcham, Sutton and Kingston-upon-Thames – and work alongside local pharmacies and hospitals in distribution of the vaccine. The Hawks Centre is situated in suburban Kingston, home to tens of thousands of residents including the Cambridge Road Estate situated next to the clinic and home to over 800 people alone.

The Hawks Road Clinic joins three other dedicated vaccination centres opened across the capital and 190 vaccination locations. Kingston Council Clinical Lead – Dr Nazim Jivani - said “Our teams have done an amazing job working quickly to get ready to meet the tough logistical challenges of offering the vaccinations, and we are immensely grateful for the support from Kingston Council and all the staff at the Hawks Road site.”

The mass vaccination centre will be a huge development to the local vaccination role out for south-west Londoners and for the country as a whole and is an important step in assisting the unlock of the country.