Pop up vaccine centres offering jabs to hard to reach members of the community have been overwhelmed with demand.

The Primary Care North Croydon Primary Care Network (PCN) and One Thornton Heath PCNs set up three pop-up clinics at His Grace food bank on Beulah Road, for the Hindu worshippers at Sakthy Ghanapathy Temple on Brigstock Road and Croydon’s homeless community outside the council offices, in partnership with Croydon Nightwatch.

Dipti Gandhi, Clinical Director for Primary Care North Croydon PCN, said: “Hosting ‘pop-up’ clinics like this is really important because it gives people the opportunity to raise any concerns they might have, seek reassurance from familiar and trusted voices and have the vaccination in a place they know well.

“The Covid-19 vaccination is our path out of this pandemic. It is vital that everyone comes forward for their vaccination when it is their turn.”

The take up was so high at His Grace Evangelical Outreach Church which runs a weekly food bank that some of those queuing had to be turned away.

Within three hours and with the support of medical vaccinators, local doctors, and volunteers 126 people got their first Oxford, AstraZeneca jab.

Pastor Bola Thomas said: “We had to turn some people back because we ran out of available vaccine for the day. The queue kept growing for vaccine take up within our community.”

His Grace Evangelical Outreach is actively working with others to reduce the spread of coronavirus said Pastor Bola: “We have been running the foodbank here for over five years now and we serve over 500 people per week.

“Working in collaboration with the local medical centres to set up this ‘pop-up’ vaccination centre, it’s been amazing to see so many individuals and families turn up to take up the opportunity of having the vaccine so we can help stop the spread of coronavirus.”

It was another example of a vaccination centre popping up in a place of worship. Croydon Mosque and Islamic Centre successfully hosted a clinic previously – to provide a convenient and familiar community location and ensure as many people as possible get the Covid-19 jab.

Dr Nana Oppong, from One Thornton Heath PCN and one of the vaccinators at the His Grace church, said: “The clinic went really well. It’s great that so many people from the church and the local community came along to have their Covid-19 jab..

“We’re working really hard to make sure people who are eligible can access the vaccination, which is safe, effective and offers the best protection against this virus for them, their family and all those around them.”