Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits Saga covid vaccination centre in Ramsgate

PM Boris Johnson with Saga staff Photo Doc Atherton

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is in Ramsgate today (December 16) visiting the Saga centre as part of the government drive to encourage people to get their covid booster jab.

The PM arrived at Ramsgate railway station this morning before heading to the centre which is leading vaccination clinics in Thanet.

It follows public briefings this week announcing an ‘emergency’ booster programme to make sure every adult aged 18 and over is offered the jab by the end of this month.

Yesterday the country recorded 78,000 Covid cases, the highest ever daily number reported.

The PM with ‘Doc’ Atherton from the part of the NHS (CARE) Primary Care Network Pharmacy & Medicines Team at Saga

‘Doc’ Atherton, who is part of the team working at Saga, said: “Saga is one of the busiest if not the busiest vaccination centre in the country and Boris came to meet the team who have provided “an amazing job” in the vaccination roll out.

“I myself, apart from being a director and presenter at Academy FM, also work these days for the Primary Care Network and have now been seconded here 6 days a week.

Photo Doc Atherton

“It’s a great team and whatever your politics, it’s not every day a Prime Minister comes personally to thank you for the part you are playing. None of us knew the Prime Minister was coming so it was a real surprise. The whole team here is great and we are all proud to be part of such a successful vaccination centre.

Photo NHS Kent and Medway

“I’m part of the NHS (CARE) Primary Care Network Pharmacy & Medicines Team and am usually based in GP surgeries. However, given the accelerated programme, I’ve been switched to doing this every day now.

“We chatted about his new daughter and that his wife works for the Aspinall Foundation which of course is not far away.”

PM at Saga with volunteers including Aram Rawf (Photo Aram Rawf)

Dr Ash Peshen, who leads the vaccination hub at Saga, said: “The Prime Minister was here for about one hour and 20 minutes. He met everyone and chatted and was very kind, thanking all of us, me personally and my staff.

“It was good. We have created a wonderful site and will keep going.”

Yesterday (December 15) the team at Saga reached 200,000 vaccinations given and 60,000 boosters. Nurse Lucy Le Vasseur (pictured above) has single-handedly given 15,000 vaccinations. The team had been delivering around 2,500 jabs per day but the figure since the booster drive is now close to double that amount.


Lucy said: “It’s such a great team here, we all work together. I have no idea how I have managed to get to 15,000; I just keep going. Like so many people, I want us to be able to return to a normal life, so the more vaccinations we give, the sooner that may happen.’’

The PM said the Saga centre was “the best” he had seen.

Photo NHS Kent and Medway

In a public briefing yesterday the PM said the doubling rate of Omicron in some regions is now down to less than two days.

He added: “I’m afraid we are also seeing the inevitable increase in hospitalisations, up by 10 per cent nationally week on week and up by almost a third in London.

Photo NHS Kent and Medway

But we are also seeing signs of hope, because since we launched our Emergency Omicron appeal on Sunday night a great national fight back has begun and people have responded with an amazing spirit of duty and obligation to others.”

Photo Aram Rawf

He added: “I want to thank our NHS, our GPs our pharmacists, who with barely a day’s notice – 48 hours’ notice, have so accelerated the programme that we began this week with the biggest Vaccination Monday ever in England.”

Dr Ash with the PM as he meets staff and those getting their jab Photo NHS Kent and Medway

The GP team at Saga have extended vaccination clinic hours.

Anyone aged 18 and above who had their second jab three months ago or more is eligible for the booster.

First, second and third primary doses are also available. Vaccines are Pfizer or Moderna.

People can walk in or can book online via NBS or by calling 119.

Photo NHS Kent and Medway

The new hours are:

Tuesday 14 December: 8am – 1pm and 2pm – 8pm
Wednesday 15 December: 8am – 1pm and 2pm – 8pm
Thursday 16 December: 8am – 1pm and 2pm – 8pm
Friday 17 December: 8am – 1pm and 2pm – 8pm
Saturday 18 December: 8am – 1pm and 2pm – 8pm
Sunday 19 December: 8am – 2pm
Monday 20 December: 8am – 1pm and 2pm – 8pm
Tuesday 21 December: 8am – 1pm and 2pm – 8pm
Wednesday 22 December: 8am – 1pm and 2pm – 8pm
Thursday 23 December: 8am – 1pm and 2pm – 8pm
Friday 24 December: 8am – 2pm
Monday 27 December: 8am – 1pm and 2pm – 8pm
Tuesday 28 December: 8am – 1pm and 2pm – 8pm
Thursday 30 December: 8am – 2pm

Friday December 31 8am-2pm

Photo NHS Kent and Medway

National guidance is for the second dose to be a minimum of eight weeks from the first dose. Please do not go to a walk-in clinic for a second dose earlier than 8 weeks.

If you need to have the AstraZeneca vaccine for for medical reasons, or you are still waiting for your second dose, please email [email protected] for information on your nearest clinic.


  1. Johnson keeps popping up all over the place lately, is it so he can be seen to be doing something, I don’t think its working though! The strong smell of sleaze and partying on a day last year when over 600 people died of covid, is all pervading! One of the problems with Johnson, and there are many, is he is no statesman, he is a chancer, and of course a proven liar! When is he going to “fix the Social Care problem once and for all” that he promised so he could get elected? His efforts so far have made little or no difference, and elderly, sick people will still have to pay for there Care if they have the funds, or assets. He is a fraud, and the £350 million a week he said we would get back from the EU to spend on the NHS, proves it! That was another lie, just to get us out of the EU! All the poor, desperate people risking their lives in unsuitable boats trying to cross the Channel, are coming here because they know they can’t be returned to the first EU country they arrived at, now we are no longer in the EU! If we had stayed in the EU we could have legally returned them to the first EU country they arrived at, but we can’t do that any longer, thanks to Johnson taking us out of the EU!

  2. Thatcher used to visit people after the various disasters caused by her Government. Not wishing to wake up and finding her looming over you, people took to carrying “thatch cards” saying that in the event of a serious accident you did not agree to Thatcher visiting you in hospital. Now we have our current PM turning up on Police raids, visiting laboratories and now inflicting himself on the poor people at the Saga Centre. Perhaps we could all carry “Bojo cards” saying that in the event of the next Government scandal we do no agree to him turning up at any facility we are using!

    • Absolutely dreadful comments to make about any politician of any political party, living or dead. Disgraceful!
      You should be ashamed for making those unkind comments.

    • It’s a shame you gave a load of demeaning and misleading details to that author Tom Bower who wrote a ridiculous hatchet job on Corbyn, eh Keith? As an old friend of Corbyn’s you really let him down. Let all of us down in fact. Some might say you played a significant art in landing us where we are today.

  3. What possesses NHS staff to pose with that crook? Do they not care or not realise that he and his friends are selling off the NHS and screwing us all in the process? That they’d all pose for that is the most tragic display of ignorance or apathy.

    • A lot of these will likely be impressionable young volunteers. Also it is clear that many NHS workers are just knackered, brainwashed drones- following what the government tell them to do without question or though-like many civil servants. Probably also pressure from on high in the NHS to smile for the camera-they after all only had to put up with the buffoon for likely 20 minutes or so.

      Try even discussing with a doctor on social media the logic of cancelling surgeries & letting people die, or be in pain on ever growing (with every extra set of rules & jab drive) waiting lists of millions as a result of throwing everything at something that for the overwhelming majority gives them no side effects or those of a cold/winter bug & they either block you, call you an anti vax nut, quote the government line etc. They have truly lost all sense of proportion & reality.

      Perhaps they would do well to remember the oath they took to not do harm knowingly. Clearly refusing to even see patients, having millions waiting for treatable conditions until they become terminal, or letting people live in pain for years, people’s mental health also being destroyed along with their physical health is doing phenomenal harm.

  4. There is no easy answers, if Boris stayed in Downing Street, he’d be accused of hiding! Why the anger? We are so lucky the vaccine is free and easily available for everyone, easy to criticize when you don’t have to make the decisions.

    • Luck doesn’t come into it.
      We have free healthcare (still) because the Labour government, under Aneurin Bevan, created the NHS.
      And, despite the vest efforts of the tories, it is still possible for some people, in some parts of the country, to access the free heathcare they’re entitled to.

    • Ridiculous statement. Our NHS is free at point of delivery. It is not free. We pay for it. The fact that we still have access to a free at point of delivery healthcare service is a miracle, given the Tories have done their absolute best for the last 11 years to rip it to shreds and sell the pieces of to their mates. Honestly, some people…

    • Free how Judith? Do you think the government/NHS bosses buys it with their own personal savings? It is also no wonder the GP’s are only seeing people to stick a needle in their arm-for every jab they administer they get paid between £15-£30, having previously still been a lucrative £12.58 per jab. They get paid their regular wage for seeing zero patients & can make thousands on top a week.

  5. Regardless of my opinions on politics, or who I believe is best to run our country two things I strongly believe in, the first being NO Prime Minister has had the enormous task, since the days of Sir Winston Churchill to deal with anything like a Global Pandemic, the second, is, Regardless of who is Prime Minister, its the OFFICE they hold, which is important, and for any Prime Minister to VISIT and Personally thank the incredibly hard working, and dedicated TEAM AT SAGA, and Isle of Thanet Pharmacies, Pharmacists, Nurses, Doctors, Surgeons, and Medical Staff, including our Emergency teams Ambulance Paramedics, and GP and NHS, Staff and Volunteers Across the board, OUR MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS ARE ABSOLUTELY AMAZING, every day they go ABOVE AND BEYOND THE CALL, and on behalf of My Family and Myself, THANKS TO EVERYONE ….. YOUR ALL AMAZING!!!

    • Think you mean a global panicdemic. 0.07-0.25% of the global population, this is not the Black Death, not even the Russian Typhus for that matter. All the evidence from South Africa shows the symptoms of this strain are very mild-just like a cold/bug, hospitalisations are low & that it is already leveling off, now the doubling rate has gone from 2 days down to 9 days.

      Please remember Mr. Paul Captial Letters Holton that this clown is the man who in 2020 walked around a hospital for a photo op forcing NHS staff to shake his hand-telling us after it couldn’t be spread in that way, just before he ended up in hospital seriously ill with it-wonder how much he spread it around that hospital?

      Still very recently on one of these photo ops to distract us from the initial Xmas parties reports instead of facing the media he had to be told three times to put his mask on by staff there & then lied about it after.

      Nobody questions the hard work by all, but the reality is this is a photo op to try to wash away the stench of him & his cronies behaviour. Also don’t forget his end of January deadline was already ludicrous enough, on Sunday he bought it forward by a month-leaving effectively 2 weeks making it totally impossible for them. He actually demeans their efforts with his glib & shameless conduct.

        • It is of course, but it is more project fear than actual reality. The biggest health problems are in reality coming from what is not being done for people with severe health problems waiting years for operations, treatable cancers sadly becoming terminal, mental health problems-many of them happening or becoming worse in sufferers due to not being able to access treatments, social services missing abuse of children due to visiting restrictions etc.

      • “All the evidence from South Africa shows the symptoms of this strain are very mild-just like a cold/bug…”
        And all this evidence is where, exactly?

  6. it must be serious for him to come out of hiding ? , he normally lets some other minister of f.a tell lies for him ,i totaly agree with everything said above – i cannot wait to witness his downfall , problem is what p**t will replace him, i hope the staff at saga saw through this visit.

  7. Oh no why is he down here spreading his germs about and visiting places that are unnecessary to visit. The Oricom numbers will most probably quadruple in Thanet now.

    • 100% James. They are the ones working tirelessly & not showing up for 20 minutes for a photo op, just to distract from their appalling behaviour. This guy just bought forward their already virtually impossible deadline of the end of January to the end of December-cannot see too many lining up on Xmas & Boxing Day or the two bank holidays right after.

  8. Has he been jabbing anyone at the centre trying to get the figures up. The Oaf has no idea what he is doing. Blundering Boris at large again!

    • I am absolutely appalled at all the venom aimed at Boris Johnson. Which other political party or leader do you think would be able to run things any differently?
      Judging by all these comments most of you come across as labour supporters and some even leaning to the left of that party.
      I am sure that the majority of us, in some way throughout this pandemic, flouted the rules, maybe not by attending parties but in other ways.
      As for the person named STEVE, on nearly every article printed in Isle of Thanet News, he is scathing about Thanet, this government the vaccine, you name it he will find fault. I really wonder if he ever has a good word to say about anything.The global pandemic has been a challenge for every country in the world and still is. Be thankful that if nothing else we have been able to have our jabs.
      Think of something positive to say for goodness sake.

      • Oi, Gibbo! If you want to get into a circle jerk with Boris and pals, that’s great! But leave the rest of us sane folk out of it. Man’s a festering boil on the anus of humanity.

        • Disinterested of Birch
          Are you implying that I am not sane, because maybe you do not like what I have written?

          • I’m implying you’ve clearly given leave of the little sense you possess if you really think the Tories, under his rule, have done anything close to a good job during this pandemic.

            ANY party could have done a better job if they’d simply showed up, followed the advice of scientists and not given BILLIONS of taxpayers pounds to their mates through iffy contracts. If you can’t see that you are either insane or wilfully ignorant. Which would you prefer to be?

        • I am obviously out of touch with modern terminology, so could
          somebody please explain to me what a circle jerk used in a sentence means?

          • I’d suggest googling it… Perhaps not at work, or in front of your Nan. But, treat yourself when you get some alone time.

        • People will moan about James’ reply because he’s talking nonsense. If you agree with it, you’re as deluded and ignorant as him.

      • That is an irrelevant statement
        There is only one party in charge at a time and for the last 11 years that party is the one Boris is leader of.
        How would Starmer do no one has any idea because he isn’t in charge. Now who allowed his mates to make Billions out a pandemic well I bet you can tell me

      • There is a very long list of cock-ups perpetrated by this government in its response to the CV pandemic. Starting with its reluctance to impose lockdown in the first instance, its enthusiasm for releasing lockdown too soon, its misguided enthusiasm for urging us to “eat out to help out”, its u-turns on the opening and closing of schools, the removal of the requirement to wear a face covering and keep socially distanced, its refusal to impose circuit breaker lockdowns … not to mention the £Bs made by tory cronies out of PPE and Track and Trace contracts … not to mention the blatant rule breaking by MPs and tory officials.
        Yes, I think just about any other MP would have done better.

          • Great scheme? Well, it certainly help the virus to spread, as people crammed themselves into pubs, cafes and restaurants to take up the offer of a cheap meal.

          • As well as helping stopping businesses going under, it was during the summer, when hospitals weren’t being overwhelmed (which indeed they weren’t). Far better than supressing things until the autumn/winter. Besides, it helped poorer people access great food… a good thing, surely?

      • Nope, Starmer would probably be even worse-just another Tory who supports Boris. Corbyn certainly would have been worse. There has to be somebody in that Tory Party, hopefully the predictions of a leadership contest come true in the new year.

        I do praise sometimes yes-good art, unlike the awful dross in the Turner Centre. The young ladies gate in Ramsgate. In this very article the incredible efforts of all involved in trying to get this clown’s impossible demands done. Also I am upping my miserable persona for comedic effect.

      • What i find comical is that Boris is being denigrated left right and centre on here, which is all very well , but none of his detractors is likely to have paused for a moment to reflect on the fact that he and the conservatives were so much more attractive at the last general election ,in comparison to labours offering, that the electorate gave the tories a significant parliamentary majority.
        It effectively made labour inconsequential in the countries politics. Not only did they lose but they can’t even be seen as an effective opposition, personally i see the lack of a decent opposition as just about as bad a situation any country can be in. Please get together and sort it out.

          • Not at all, had the tory rebels had any notion that the vote would have been lost they’d have toed the line. The tory mp’s were merely putting Boris on notice that hewas straying away from traditional tory ideals.

      • I, at least, certainly am a Labour supporter! But even if I were not, I’d still be of the opinion that Johnson is an immoral twerp.

    • Absolutely Peter , it’s great that the prime minister has made the effort to come to the brilliant vaccination centre we have here . Well done all !

  9. I am sure they will Lesley.
    At least you and I put our full names, unlike many who hide behind pseudonyms and they are usually the most venomous in their comments.
    If you have something to say and feel strongly about it, then have the courage of your convictions and print your real names.

    • why so you and others can abuse the poster
      BTW you can use whatever name you like so how would anyone know you are really James Gibbons

    • Why is that James? So you or others can try & cancel people? Report them to the police for ‘hate crimes’ etc just because you don’t like their opinions? Dox them? People have seen this happen a lot in recent years-JK Rowling, Dave Chappelle etc. Of course they have so much money it doesn’t effect them to anywhere the same degree having a baying mob turn up at their workplace, harassing their boss to fire them etc.

      • Reply to Steve
        I am sorry Steve you have lost me!
        I have never tried to
        ‘Cancel’ anybody in my life, although sadly it seems to be on the rise.

  10. I thought I felt a dark disturbance in the force.

    What an unwelcome interruption for the people working there. I certainly wouldn’t want him showing up at my work place not unless he wanted a Frank and serious conversation where I’d expect straight answers.

  11. What amusing comments. Can’t think why anyone from the left or right or centre would trust him – a proven liar – with their own health and get experimented on at his advice? Is he a man, or a bird or is he merely CGI or a body double to placate the unquestioning masses? Interesting case here just filed at the Criminal Court in The Hague on Nuremberg Code breaches re: covid which shows the criminality of it all.

  12. This is pathetic.
    The illusion of arriving at Ramsgate Train Station when there was a full protection entourage including MI6 cavalcading around the Isle is a complete waste of time and money.
    The fact of his appearance was in part an attempt to shame Craig Mackinlay MP.
    If he hadn’t been covering up for his rule-breaking parties and corruption his action on Covid-19 would have been as tardy as ever.
    I see a Labour Party rep in nearly all the photos too. Perhaps MacKinlay had the right idea!

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