Vaccination teams across Gloucestershire have been widely praised after a major COVID-19 vaccination milestone was reached in the county.
Local people and staff in the top four priority groups have now been offered a vaccination and over 160,000 people have received their first dose so far.
The top priority groups include the over 70s, residents in older people’s care homes, the clinically extremely vulnerable (very high risk patients) and frontline health and care workers.
GP surgery teams, community staff, hospital vaccination teams, volunteers and community partners have all played their part in what has been described by leaders as a ‘truly extraordinary One Gloucestershire effort.’
GP led vaccination services across the county have already started to contact and vaccinate people in the next priority groups – the over 65s and 16-64 year olds with underlying health conditions – with continued rapid progress expected.
Clinical Chair of NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, Dr Andy Seymour said:
“What has been achieved across Gloucestershire is truly extraordinary.
There are so many people to thank – but I would particularly like to mention the incredible Primary Care Network GP led community vaccination services and the brilliant hospital vaccination team who have been in this from the very start.
The hours and effort these people have, and continue to, put in cannot go without mention and it is just awe inspiring.
Our teams are now focused on the next priority groups and our message is – we will get to you very soon.”
Professor Steve Hams, Chief Nurse at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Senior Responsible Officer for the Gloucestershire COVID-19 Vaccination programme said:
“I feel very proud. These achievements and the continuing progress being made in the county is truly staggering and it’s great credit to all those involved – their hard work, passion for protecting people and selfless approach are making this all possible.
As well as the health and care professionals who have been leading the vaccination programme, volunteers in every corner of the county have also played a major part in what has been achieved here and they are all part of the fantastic One Gloucestershire team.”
Gloucestershire is widely recognised as being at the forefront of the COVID-19 vaccination response.
The county’s NHS moved fast to set up the Edward Jenner Vaccination Hospital Hub and a network of 10 GP led community vaccination centres (and mobile services) across the county in December. This was against the backdrop of winter and COVID-19 related pressures and the need to maintain vital day to day medical care and services.
Whilst GP led services in the county are carrying out the bulk of community vaccinations at pace, and surgeries are already contacting the over 65s and people with underlying health conditions, additional community vaccination services have also been established in recent weeks.
If they choose to, residents in the over 65s group can use the national booking website: www.nhs.uk/covidvaccination or phone 119 to book an appointment at one of two pharmacy locations in the county – Boots in Gloucester and Badhams Pharmacy in Bishops Cleeve.