“It’s all been quickly implemented,” says Ms Samouelle, from the Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust.
“Today, we’re going to be doing over 500 [of all Covid vaccines] so it’s already jumped up quite dramatically.
“As a trust, we’ve already started doing boosters for our employees as well, so we’re really trying to support the community as much as we can.”
The matron, who worked in a casualty department prior to the pandemic, says the atmosphere at the centre is reminiscent of that in December when the vaccine programme was first launched.
She says people are turning up at the hub “really positive; they’re really happy”.
“It’s really important – the NHS is going to face winter pressures,” says Ms Samouelle.
“The booster jab is going to prevent people from getting poorly and it’s also going to prevent loved ones from getting poorly.”
While Basildon was a hotspot for Covid last winter, the local NHS trust hopes that this winter the extent of cases should be curbed.
“It is still out there but because so many people have had their vaccinations in this area, it is getting more controlled,” says Ms Samouelle.
“We’ve got this vaccination in our arsenal of things against it.”
Analysis: By Nikki Fox, BBC East health correspondent
Case rates in Basildon are still relatively high, but they’re decreasing.
Ten weeks ago it was 505 cases per 100,000 of the population. By Tuesday, it was 201.
But local health officials in the town were pleased with the turnout on the first day of the local booster jab campaign.
The Department of Health and Social Care says most people will be offered the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine so the booster may be from a different manufacturer than the first or second doses for many.
Prof Paul Hunter, an epidemiologist from the University of East Anglia, says the booster is important for some groups.”There are a lot of people who won’t have responded as well to the original course of vaccine as we would have liked,” he says.
“We’ve started already vaccinating some of those groups a couple of weeks ago… and the benefit was always very strong [to them] in the case of boosting.”
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