University of Warwick: Vaccination programme in Coventry and Warwickshire boosted by medical students

Around 450 students from Warwick Medical School at the University of Warwick are supporting the region’s Covid-19 vaccination efforts
For nearly a year, Warwick’s medical students have been using their skills and passion to assist during the pandemic alongside their studies
Angela is supporting the vaccination centre at Stoneleigh Park.Trainee doctors at Warwick Medical School continue are putting their passion for patients to use during the pandemic as they assist with efforts to get the people of Coventry and Warwickshire vaccinated against Covid-19.

Around 450 students from the University of Warwick’s MB ChB programme are supporting the region’s vaccination programme to help get a population of over a million people vaccinated against the virus.

They are combining their studies and clinical placements with gaining real-world experience of working with patients and making a real difference to the health of their community. It is the latest of nearly a whole year of activities that Warwick Medical School students have been involved in to support public health efforts during the pandemic.

First-year student Angela Wilkinson is currently taking part in the vaccination programme. She said: “I got involved for a number of reasons; it is a huge historical event to be part of, it gives me clinical experience and exposure by carrying out the vaccinations and enables me to make a contribution to helping the nation get back to some sort of normality.

“It’s really well organised and efficient. It takes around 20 minutes for patients to move through the process. As a medical student my role is to administer the vaccination, working alongside healthcare professionals who perform the assessment of each patient and talk through any potential side effects. The training was extensive. We had to complete modules online looking at a number of things including how to treat the vaccine, health and safety, and then undertake face-to-face sessions which included life support. The centre is flexible when booking shifts so I can fit working around my studies.”

When the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic hit in March 2020, 520 MB ChB students volunteered to provide frontline care by undertaking clinical support in three hospitals; University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW), George Eliot and South Warwickshire Foundation Trust (SWFT). Almost a year on, there remains 120 students helping on the front line.

Professor Simon Brake, Chief Engagement and Innovation Officer at Warwick Medical School, has been instrumental in co-ordinating the student effort over the last year. He said: “When you consider that these students are undertaking an intensive graduate entry medical degree and all the added work that brings, as well as adapting to a new way of studying and continuing with placements in hospitals and GP surgeries across the region, it is all the more impressive. After what has been a difficult year for everyone, they continue to make a big contribution to the Coventry and Warwickshire community through their clinical work. We are immensely proud of them.”

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