Generation Z queue for six hours to get jabbed in London
Generation Z queue for six hours to get jabbed in London as 1,500 swarm on walk-in clinic where Pfizer vaccine was being rolled out to over-18s
- Thousands of young people line up to get their coronavirus vaccine in London
- Even when temperatures reached 25C the majority in line kept their masks on
- One student joined the queue at 10.30am and only reached halfway by 2.30pm
After 15 months of weekends stuck at home, Generation Z could be forgiven for wanting to spend their Saturday soaking up the sun in a beer garden with friends.
Instead around 1,500 young people in their late teens and twenties yesterday spent up to six hours queuing for this summer’s must have – the Covid vaccine.
News that the Pfizer jab was being handed out to over-18s at a walk-in clinic in Harrow, North-West London, soon spread and it wasn’t long before the line snaked around the car park and down a nearby street. Altruism was not, however, the only motivation.
News that the Pfizer jab was being handed out to over-18s at a walk-in clinic in Harrow, North-West London, soon spread
‘I’m here so I can get as drunk as possible when the clubs reopen,’ said one 19-year-old.
‘I’ve been waiting six hours. I got here at 8.30am and now only stubbornness is keeping me going.’
The desire to go clubbing was a recurring theme as was a wish among students to visit relatives abroad and go travelling.
History student Niamh Neville, 22, joined the queue at 10.30am and had only reached the halfway point by 2.30pm.
‘We’ve wasted a year so I may as well waste a day to get it,’ she said. ‘I want to see my family in Ireland and I have a lot of elderly relatives. We might have to wait until July –and that’s just too long.’
The jabs were handed out at the Belmont Health Centre, but people did not need to be registered with the practice – or indeed any GP – to receive the first dose
Her boyfriend Daniel Sehindler, who also attends University College London, said: ‘The pandemic has been terrible for us. We’ve been stuck in our rooms. The earliest you can get the vaccine the better. We’ll just call it a romantic day out.’
The jabs were handed out at the Belmont Health Centre, but people did not need to be registered with the practice – or indeed any GP – to receive the first dose.
A group of students from West Hampstead, who had been turned away from a vaccine bus elsewhere, chipped in for a taxi to Harrow when they heard on the grapevine that jabs were available.
‘We decided to all come together – and make a day of it,’ said Candela Martin, 20. ‘You don’t need to be from the area. We’ve moved three spaces in an hour but it’s worth it. I just want to be able to travel back to Spain to see my family.’
Lola Marcos, 21, and Alexis Morgan, 20, who are studying engineering at Imperial College, agreed.
‘Clubbing is on the list but it’s lower than seeing my grandparents,’ said Mr Morgan, who is from France. National eligibility criteria in England states only those aged 30 and over are currently being invited for their first jab, although some areas have finished vaccinating eligible patients and are opening up slots so doses do not go to waste.
Even when temperatures reached 25C, the majority in the queue kept their masks on. Only by early evening were people being turned away and told to return today.
In Kensington, West London, a vaccine bus arrived outside a leisure centre and welcomed aboard a steady stream of people to have the AstraZeneca jab.
One woman, who gave her name as Michelle, said: ‘I really needed the vaccine. I’m not registered with a GP and I don’t have the right papers to be here. I’m so grateful as they have saved my life.
‘Everyday I was thinking, “Where can I get the vaccine without them asking about my status?” I kept Googling and I found this place.’
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