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York based COVID vaccine service celebrates first week of successful rollout to priority patients

Primary care services in York are celebrating its first week of its successful delivery of the COVID-19 vaccine to local patients.

Gordon Short - covid vaccineThe first man to receive the vaccine was 82-year-old Gordon Short said he was surprised to receive his invite in the post the day before the appointment.

Gordon said: “I was really pleased – I really would have been happy to postpone it and offer it to someone else. I’ve only just received the appointment so here I am,” said Gordon. “My daughter will be delighted!”

The first couple that attended for their appointment was Eileen and Kenneth Ward from Copmanthorpe. “We’re still going to be careful,” said Eileen as she and her husband became the first couple in York to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.

Eileen, 85, and Kenneth, 93, said they were delighted to receive their letter inviting them to be one of the first people to receive the vaccine in York.

“I was so pleased when I got the letter, as I just thought this might be the end to being isolated. We’re still going to be careful though,” said Eileen.

Haxby nurse - Hannah drawing up covid vaccineThroughout the pandemic the couple has only spoken to their daughter though the window and they have decided to keep away from family over Christmas too.

“We’ll wait until we can celebrate after,” she said.

Dr Daniel Kimberling, GP Partner and Clinical Lead at Haxby Group said: “We are proud to be playing our part in this NHS vaccination programme, working on behalf of GP Practices in York to help protect people from this virus.”

As more supplies of the vaccine are received, the programme will be rolled out to other sites and other groups, including frontline health and care staff.

Dr Nigel Wells, Clinical Chair of NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “I’m delighted that York has been one of the first areas to play a role in the UK wide vaccination programme, but it’s just the start of a process that will likely take several months.

“The first few days have been very successful, with patients commenting on how well organised clinics are and how amazing the clinical staff have been.”

Eileen Ward - covid vaccine“Understandably patients are enthusiastic to have the COVID vaccine, but it’s important those at most risk from coronavirus are vaccinated first.

“That is why the NHS is asking patients to not contact their local GP Practice or local hospital to ask for an appointment for a vaccination and to please not turn up at your surgery or hospital – the NHS is proactively contacting individuals as part of the vaccination programme and nobody will miss out.”

The COVID-19 vaccination programme is the largest vaccination programme in the NHS’ 72-year history and it will involve NHS staff from all across the country and in different roles. This could be GPs, nurses, community pharmacists, paramedics and other healthcare professionals.

Ends

Notes to editors

The Pfizer/BioNTech COVID vaccine was approved for use following extensive clinical trials.

Kenneth Ward - covid vaccineVaccinations are being delivered according to priority groups identified by the Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

Local vaccination services, which are based on Primary Care Network groupings, will be delivering the vaccine.

When it is the right time for a patient to receive the vaccination, patients will receive an invitation to come forward. This may be via the phone, or through a letter either from their GP or the national booking system.

Patients will need two doses of the vaccine to get the best protection from coronavirus. The doses must be at least 21 days apart. The NHS is asking people not to contact their practice for an appointment as patients will not be able to get one until they are contacted.

Useful COVID-19 vaccine information https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccination-why-you-are-being-asked-to-wait/why-you-have-to-wait-for-your-covid-19-vaccine

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