Mr Johnson arrived at the centre at around 4:30pm for a conference call with doctors from Peterborough City Hospital, to hear first-hand the challenges they are facing during this pandemic and the latest surge in cases.
He then was given a tour of the centre, run by Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust, joined by the city’s two MPs Paul Bristow and Shailesh Vara, to meet a number of the staff, volunteers and those arriving to get their jabs.
The tour was led by the centre’s leads Michael Dunn and Nicky Srahan, who informed the Prime Minister about the overwhelming success of the centre, which opened its doors in October.
Since then, over 34,000 jabs have been given on-site, with around 2000 a day given out at its peak. Following the prime minister’s call to arms to increase the speed of the booster drive last month, capacity at the site was increased and there is now the possibility to vaccinate a person every 12 seconds.
The efficiency has been achieved with the help of the 28 vaccinators the centre is able to call upon.
Nicky said: “The team have worked incredibly hard, they have been so flexible and they have really upped their game. There were a few sleepless nights when we were told that we had to increase the pace but the team has risen to it.
“Our vaccinators and volunteers have come to us from all walks of life, we’ve got cabin crew, security guards and publicans to name just a few. A lot of them want to stay in the NHS as well, so it has acted as a kind of recruitment drive as well, which is great.
Michael added: “We are really proud of the whole team and the service that they provide. For the prime minister to come here today and to give them the recognition they deserve in person is fantastic.”
The centre, which is in the unit formerly occupied by NEXT, is operated solely by the NHS, the only remaining one in the city after the City Care Centre and the Showground closed, and has contributed towards the 466,000 jabs given out from NHS centres in the city since the start of the pandemic.