Staff at a University have helped train more than 600 people in less than a month to carry out Covid-19 vaccinations.

Middlesex University has been leading the major vaccination training programme for the North Central London Clinical Commissioning Group (NCL CCG).

The project began on December 9th last year and staff have been working in a strict Covid-19 secure environment on the main Hendon campus in north London.

They have been teaching qualified healthcare professionals and new vaccinators recruited from the general public how to administer both the government-approved Oxford-Astra Zeneca and Pfizer vaccines.

After completing the training, the vaccinators will be ready to work at the planned large new vaccination hubs in North Central London.

The university was due to shut for Christmas on December 18th but remained open for five days longer so staff could carry out the vaccine training, which takes around six and a half hours to complete.

Fiona Suthers, head of the clinical skills department at Middlesex University, said: “We’re helping to get vaccinations out to the local community which is an enormous positive for everyone.

“The team is teaching the participants not only how to understand the vaccine but also how to deal with someone who is perhaps anxious.

“We’re doing all we can to make the vaccinators feel as confident as possible.

“Many of the team leading this training are also working in Covid wards in their spare time.

“All of us are going above and beyond to support the national effort when it would have been much easier to stay at home and wait for Covid to go away.”

The training has been led by the university’s clinical skills team and nursing and midwifery department.

In the coming months university staff will also be helping to train people on-site at the new vaccination hubs in north London.

Sarah Needham, the NCL CCG clinical programme lead for the Covid vaccination programme, said: “We have been working in partnership with Middlesex University, who have been doing an amazing job in training our workforce.

“Our teams will be administering 2.4 million vaccinations to our community population across North Central London.

“This is the largest national vaccination programme of our time, and one of our main drivers is to recruit and train people from our local communities.

“The large majority of vaccinators for our programme have never worked in the NHS and/or social care before.

“We will also be supporting them to gain permanent jobs in the NHS and/ or social care across London.

“Our local vaccinators will be champions for promoting the importance of getting vaccinated in their local communities.”