Pop-up COVID-19 and flu vaccination clinics have been set up in the Black Country with British Sign Language (BSL) support available for those who need it.
The community pop-up clinics are being hosted at a range of locations in Wolverhampton, Dudley, Walsall and Sandwell, with no appointment necessary.
A number of the clinics will be fully supported by a BSL interpreter, providing support for the deaf community who want to come forward for a winter vaccination. Anyone aged 18 and over who is eligible for an autumn COVID-19 or flu vaccine is invited to come forward.
Those eligible for both winter vaccines include people aged 65 and over, those that are pregnant, adults and children (aged six months and above) with certain health conditions, care home residents, frontline health and social care staff, unpaid carers and household contacts of people with a weakened immune system.
BSL interpreters will be available at the following pop-up clinics over the next few weeks:
- Morrisons, Holyhead Road, Wednesbury, WS107BD, Thursday 2 November, 10am-2pm
- Tesco, Brownhills, Walsall, WS8 6DZ, Monday 6 November, 9am-1pm
- The Square, New Invention, Willenhall, WV12 5EA, Wednesday 8 November, 10am-2pm
- Park Village Education Centre, Cannock Road, WV10 0RA, Tuesday 14 November, 1pm-7pm
- Dudley Market Place, High Street, DY11PQ, Friday 17 November, 9am-1pm
Sally Roberts, Chief Nursing Officer for the NHS Black Country Integrated Care Board, said: “Having a flu and/or COVID-19 jab can help make sure you and those you care for are well protected during the winter months and beyond.
“Our pop-up clinics are a great way for those eligible for a flu or autumn COVID-19 vaccine to get vaccinated at a time and location that suits them, with no appointment necessary.
“However, it’s important that they are accessible and inclusive as possible to ensure our communities feel supported to come forward for a vaccination, which is why we have also set up dedicated clinics which will have a BSL interpreter on site to support for BSL users.
“If anyone is hesitant about the vaccine or has any questions, the clinics are an opportunity to speak to experts from the NHS in a private and confidential environment, so please do pop along even if it’s just to have a conversation.”
Christopher Beech, Project Development Manager at Zebra Access, a deaf-led charity in Wolverhampton, said: “It is well documented that Deaf, Deafblind, Hard of Hearing and Deafened people are more likely to suffer from ill health due to lack of communication access to Health services and provisions.
“Therefore, it is fantastic to see the planned pop-up vaccination clinic providing BSL access during November across different sites for this marginalised group as we approach the winter season.”
In addition to the pop-up clinics, eligible people can book their autumn COVID-19 vaccine online via the National Booking System, or by calling 119. Calls to 119 are free from mobiles and landlines and the booking service provides support in 200 different languages.
Those who have difficulties communicating or hearing, or are a BSL user can use textphone 18001 or the NHS 119 British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter service Flu vaccinations are also available at a range of community pharmacies.