Vaccination programme moves on

All people living in Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire who fall into one of the top four priority groups for the coronavirus vaccine have now been offered a first dose.

As of today – Monday 15 February – more than 220,000 people – mostly those who are over 70 or clinically extremely vulnerable – have received their first coronavirus vaccine from one of the 27 vaccination clinics up and running across the region.

The vaccination programme will now begin contacting those next in the queue to receive the vaccine, who are people aged between 65 and 69 and anyone aged between 16 and 64 with an underlying health condition.

As part of this phase, GPs have been asked to offer the jabs to all clinically vulnerable patients, while people aged 65 and over will, in the first instance, be invited by the NHS to book a vaccination at one of the vaccination centres.

Gill May, Director of Nursing and Quality, said: “To have reached such a milestone in the space of just eight weeks is completely phenomenal, and I applaud every single person who has helped to make this possible.

“However, while it is hugely important for us to take time to reflect on how far we’ve come, we must keep our momentum going to make sure we have vaccinated all adults by the autumn.

“A vast number of people continue to wait patiently to be vaccinated, and I hope that each and every person who is contacted over the next few weeks takes up the vaccination offer without hesitation.”

“If you are in the initial group of people and, for whatever reason, still haven’t taken up the offer to be vaccinated, it isn’t too late. Please get in touch with the NHS and book an appointment.”

While the vaccination programme continues, people are asked to carry on following the latest government guidance around social distancing, hand washing and mask wearing.

Apart from those aged over 70 or classed as clinically extremely vulnerable, people are advised not to contact the NHS regarding their coronavirus vaccination appointment, as people will be contacted in priority order.

Information on the vaccination programme can be seen at http://www.bswccg.nhs.uk, while details of the vaccine itself are available online at http://www.gov.uk or http://www.nhs.uk.