Supporting the COVID-19 relief effort in the UK

Over the last year, our students and staff have played a vital role in the COVID-19 response, through research, volunteering and community support.
Student volunteering during COVID

Meet Josh, one of our MSc Immunology of Infectious Diseases students based in the UK who helped with the vaccination rollout.

"At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic I contacted some of the hospitals and GP practices in Newcastle to see if they required volunteers. A couple of GP practices had additional work that I was able to help with. Initially I started out by contacting shielding and vulnerable patients. The job involved checking on current medication provisions, food access, as well as mental health and overall wellbeing. The silver lining for me was the social interaction for the first time in months – hearing all the things people were doing to keep themselves entertained during the pandemic.

When the vaccine rollout started they required a number of people able to give the vaccine. I tried to get involved as soon as I could, completing the training at the very start of January. A few weeks later, I had started my first session in a sports hall in North Shields. On top of vaccinating, I also learned the dilutional technique used to make up the vaccine. To date I have been involved in roughly 1000 patient’s vaccines. It has been great to see the gratitude and positivity towards the vaccine programme from patients and staff.

My part has been very small and is just one bit of a huge national effort from people of all backgrounds and ages across the country."