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Health Sciences

Health Sciences staff help train ‘new vaccinators’ for national programme

Published: 19 February 2021
The University is also helping to r
The University is also helping to run clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines.

The University of Southampton’s School of Health Sciences have been playing a part in preparations for the mammoth effort to administer the recently approved COVID-19 vaccines across England.

Staff in the School, supporting Health Education England, recently organised trainers and technicians to deliver and manage 12 sessions of ‘new vaccinator’ training over two days – teaching 50 participants to give intramuscular injections, using specially designed training pads to help simulate the procedure.

In October, the Human Medicines Regulations 2020 were amended so that a wider range of trained personnel could administer COVID-19 vaccinations (and flu vaccinations) to include people such as Allied Healthcare Professionals, airline staff, lifeguards, community fire officers and healthcare students, who would not normally provide vaccinations.

Professor Julie Cullen, Head of Nursing, Midwifery and Health at the University, said: “We were very pleased to be able to help teach people from a range of different backgrounds in the community to learn this vital practical skill which, combined with online learning and close supervision, will allow them to become new vaccinators.

“The country is facing a huge challenge to distribute approved vaccines to those in priority groups over the next few weeks and I am proud that Southampton and my colleagues in Health Sciences were able to play a part in preparations for this.”

The practical element of the vaccination training was delivered at Highfield campus under strict COVID-19 health and safety requirements, with 2 metre plus distancing and thorough cleaning between each group of trainees.

Professor Saul Faust, from the University’s Faculty of Medicine, is leading trials of the Janssen and Valneva COVID-19 vaccines in the UK, as well as supporting/running trials of the AstraZeneca and other vaccines in Southampton. Most recently, he’s helping to deliver the world’s first COVID-19 vaccine study looking at using different vaccines for first and second doses, and varying the time between doses.

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