The Jewish Chronicle
SMILING FACES, PROUD TO BE PART OF THE UK-WIDE PROGRAMME
RAJAN BINDRA, 44,
is an aviation consultant, who lives in Slough, Berkshire, with his wife and two children. He worked as a volunteer at the local vaccination centre.
“I was in charge of managing the car park, which is the first port of call for anybody who comes along. I wanted people to see my smiling eyes behind a mask so they were put at ease. We made a point of referring to them as ‘customers’ or ‘guests’ to treat everyone with respect. I was there when my 80-year-old mother arrived for her vaccination. I thought, ‘Do I need to ask for her ID?’ – I did anyway. But then she asked if I could park her car for her. I had to tell her we weren’t offering a valet service!”
CORPORAL SALLY WOODCOCK, 34,
an RAF clarinettist, was deployed to a vaccine hub in Powys, Mid Wales. “I’m not one to sit about doing nothing, so it’s fantastic that I’ve been able to help out. In Powys, I’m with five other musicians and a pilot. We’ve been doing all sorts. It can vary depending on how many volunteers there are, but today I was doing car park duties. I’ve also been carrying out admin roles and operating the phones.
“We’re all mucking in together – there’s no kind of division between the military and volunteers. I received a jab myself because we were working with the public and alongside nurses. It was absolutely painless.”
is chief financial officer at Valneva, which is developing a vaccine in Livingston, West Lothian. The biotech company is one of eight vaccine developers with which the UK Government has usage agreements.
“The next wave of clinical trials will involve around 3,000 to 4,000 people to make sure there is enough data to confidently understand the vaccine’s safety and efficacy.
“Rather than just doing small-scale manufacturing to produce the initial material for the clinical trials, we’re now using a full-scale manufacturing process.
“That means that if the regulator gives its approval the vaccine could be deployed the day after.”
PROFESSOR SAUL FAUST
is director of the NIHR Southampton Clinical Research Facility at the University of Southampton. “During the pandemic, I have focused on delivering trials of vaccines, treatments and diagnostic tests across the Wessex region. Without the vaccine, we will not be able to prevent further waves and the impact that has on the NHS. I work in national networks and groups to make best use of the superb UK clinical research infrastructure, which has delivered almost all of the global scientific advances in Covid-19. It has been a huge collaborative effort across the whole of the UK.”
DEIRDRE WEBB, 57,
FROM Belfast, is director of nursing at the Public Health Agency Northern Ireland and managed the rollout of the vaccination programme to care homes. “The care homes have gone through such hard times, so we were committed to deploying the vaccine there as soon as possible. All our care homes have now received the first doses. Within our care homes and clinics the people who allow us to work effectively are the house porters, the drivers, the cleaners, as well as the volunteers. They are the unsung heroes. I am going to be trained as a vaccinator as well so I can’t wait for that. But at the moment I am involved in the planning. I lead on the workforce and logistics part of the programme.”