107-year-old woman receives Covid-19 vaccination as Barking centre celebrates 50,000th jab

vidya sahota

107-year-old Vidya Sahota said she was "feeling well" after receiving her second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine at The Broadway Theatre on May 28 - Credit: Jon King

A 107-year-old woman received her Covid-19 vaccination on the day a centre celebrated its 50,000th jab.

The vaccine milestone was celebrated by medics, volunteers and council staff who have worked tirelessly since the centre opened at The Broadway Theatre in January.

dr arun sharma

Dr Arun Sharma described 50,000 vaccines as a "fantastic achievement". - Credit: Jon King

Centenarian Vidya Sahota, speaking after receiving her second dose of the vaccine on May 28, said: "I feel well."

Dr Arun Sharma, who chairs Barking and Dagenham GP Federation, said Barking's jabs push had reached parts of the population - including rough sleepers - others had not.

He added: "50,000 vaccines is a fantastic achievement."

dr arun sharma and cllr maureen worby

L-R: Dr Sharma with Cllr Maureen Worby who praised the way volunteers, health and council workers had come together. - Credit: Jon King

Cllr Maureen Worby, cabinet member for social care and health integration, praised how well everyone had worked together.

"Over 500 families have lost loved ones, but that could have been so much worse if you had not been here day after day," she said.

Taskin Sabir

Taskin Sabir has delivered jabs into the arms of 3,200 Barking and Dagenham residents. - Credit: Jon King

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Trainee nursing associate Taskin Sabir has delivered 3,200 jabs at The Broadway.

"I love doing this. Patients appreciate so much that they are getting something to fight this nasty virus," she said.

Besides jabs, the centre offers help to people whose situations or mental health have suffered in the pandemic.

Relationships manager at the centre, Emma Gillan said: "People are so grateful to know there is someone there."

Sharon Bhamra

Sharon Bhamra has vaccinated 7,000 people at The Broadway Theatre. - Credit: Barking and Dagenham College

An army of volunteers helps ensure the centre runs smoothly at the theatre, which is run by Barking and Dagenham College and the council.

Wijay Pitumpe, chief financial and enterprise officer at the college, said: "We were really happy to be able to offer this venue to the NHS and to help in the vaccination effort. 

"I’m thrilled to hear that it’s already had 50,000 people pass through its doors."

Pamela Young

Pamela Young helped to recruit the hundreds of volunteers who answered the borough's call for help. - Credit: Jon King

Pamela Young, who helped to recruit hundreds of volunteers, said people who offered their time have been the centre's backbone.

Volunteer Malcolm Brown added: "It can be challenging, but it's enjoyable. Getting the vaccine benefits everybody."

malcolm brown

Malcolm Brown is among the army of volunteers who help keep the centre running smoothly. - Credit: Jon King

Barking and Dagenham leader Cllr Darren Rodwell said: "What makes this brilliant is the fact that we come together in times of trouble."

Barking and Dagenham saw 546 deaths from Covid-19 and 23,715 confirmed cases up to May 26. More than 100,000 people have been inoculated.

Dr Jagan John, who chairs Barking and Dagenham's clinical commissioning group, said: "We've still got work to do. No resident will be left behind."


The Broadway Theatre's Covid-19 vaccination centre team celebrated the milestone with cake. - Credit: Jon King