Student doctors in Sunderland deliver Covid-19 vaccine to vulnerable people in North East

A group of Sunderland medical students have joined the effort to deliver the Covid-19 vaccine to people in the North East.

By Sophie Brownson
Wednesday, 3rd February 2021, 7:00 am

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Student doctors from the University of Sunderland’s School of Medicine are currently using their skills to help in the national vaccination programme.

The second year students have now been trained as junior vaccinators and were involved in offering vaccines at The Parks Sports Centre in North Tyneside last weekend, under the guidance of Professor Scott Wilkes, who heads up the university’s medical school.

Professor Scott Wilkes, head of the University of Sunderland's School of Medicine, along with his students.

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Laura, from Sunderland, said: "I was extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to volunteer as a vaccinator, a role I never thought I would undertake until later in my clinical years.

“This rewarding opportunity allowed me to not only support the frontline through this pandemic, but also provided me with vital experience and skills in gaining trust with patients.

“All the patients were extremely grateful for our help and it was a privilege to support the vaccination roll out.”

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Sunderland University School of Medicine student Laura Giles. Photo by David Wood.

The university opened its first School of Medicine on September 16, 2019, and since then one of its aims has been to address the region’s shortage of doctors.

Throughout the pandemic the university has played a key role in supporting frontline staff, from graduating nurses heading direct into the region’s hospitals, to donating vital medical equipment to the North East’s NHS trusts.

Professor Scott Wilkes, head of School of Medicine and Professor of General Practice and Primary Care at Sunderland, said: “I'm so impressed by the students’ commitment and desire to help in the pandemic vaccination effort.

Professor Scott Wilkes, head of the University of Sunderland's School of Medicine, along with his students.

“At the weekend our four Sunderland medical students, Rebecca Bramley, Laura Giles, Zain Bahkat and Sophie Young worked alongside Newcastle medical students to deliver more than 2,400 vaccinations in North Tyneside.

“I was their supervisor on the day and extremely proud to see them put into practice their clinical skills to such great effect.”

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