Published: 14:07, 21 July 2021
| Updated: 14:42, 21 July 2021
Thanet Saga Vaccination Team pitched up close to the golf championship's entrance giving workers and spectators the chance to have their first or second dose of the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccines.
Phil Myers, 36, from Folkestone, was the 1,000th person to pop into #GrabAJab.
The former Harvey Grammar School pupil was at the golf with his dad, Alan Myers, a member of Channel Rotary and Sene Valley Golf Club in Folkestone, and his brother-in-law, Andrew Woolford, also 36.
He said: "I never thought that I would be able to have my jab here.
"It’s an honour to be the 1,000th person. Really good.”
The pop up was next to the main entrance, allowing spectators and staff to stop by the vaccination centre as they either arrived at or left the four-day golf championship.
After four days of practice, the experts teed off on Thursday when the majority of people descended on Sandwich. That day saw 175 people take the opportunity to get vaccinated.
On Friday, a further 362 shots were given. Saturday saw another 424 people drop in. Then, on Sunday, a whopping 674 ‘putt’ themselves at less risk from Covid-19 by being vaccinated.
Dr Ash Peshen, GP lead for Thanet Saga Vaccination Team said: “We were expecting about 50 a day, so to have 1,635 come along to grab a jab is astounding and far exceeded our expectations.
"Drivers for having the jab included being able to go on holiday, feeling safer when going out socialising and just generally getting back to normal.
“People want this vaccine, they want their lives back. Younger people, those in the 18 to 40 age group, told us again and again that they like the convenience of the pop-up clinic."
The Thanet Saga vaccination team were invited to The Open by organisers The R&A and the European Tour medical team working at the Championship.
The R&A also gave local NHS workers tickets, so any golf fans, who wished to, could join them at The Open.
NHS Kent and Medway’s Clinical Commissioning Group’s accountable officer Wilf Williams said: “I would like to thank the R&A and the European Tour teams for enabling our vaccination team to not only boost the number of vaccinations being delivered, but for helping to show people how easy and quick it is to grab a jab and help reduce the risk to themselves and others from Covid-19.
“We have been working really hard to provide as many walk-in and pop-up clinics as we can in places where people will be, as well as supporting booked appointments too.”
Across Kent, the number of Covid cases is on the rise, with those testing positive up by 2,200 in seven days.
However, the number of people in hospitals remains well below the levels previously seen, with 29 Covid patients in the county's hospital as of July 13.