Vaccinations begin for people in North Somerset
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Vaccinations have begun for people across North Somerset this week, offering a ray of light in the battle against coronavirus.
Southmead Hospital in Bristol is one of 50 hospital hubs chosen to start the vaccination programme and will lead the rollout of immunisations for people in North Somerset.
Since the Pfizer vaccine got the green light from regulators last week, staff from across the area have been working to manage the large-scale logistical challenge of deploying the vaccine.
Mike Bell, North Somerset Council’s executive member for health, said: “This week has been amazing as the vaccine programme has begun to get underway.
“Hospitals are beginning to give their first vaccines and in the coming weeks local vaccination services will start through our health services in North Somerset.
“Now, the key thing is for everyone to keep doing their bit to get case numbers down.
“Our NHS and care staff are working incredibly hard to deliver the largest vaccination programme ever.
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“The NHS will contact residents as they become eligible for the vaccine, so for now we must keep up with hands, face and space, follow the guidance and help save lives.”
People aged 80 and over as well as care home workers will be first to receive the jab, along with NHS workers who are at higher risk.
Staff at Southmead have begun inviting over 80s to receive the jab and, have been working closely with local authorities and care home providers to book their staff in to vaccination clinics.
Any appointments not used for these most at-risk groups will be used for healthcare workers who are at highest risk of serious illness from Covid.
All those vaccinated will need a booster jab between 21 and 35 days later.
Dr Tim Whittlestone, clinical director at North Bristol NHS Trust, said: “This is a historic moment for the country, and I want to thank staff across our health and care system who have worked incredibly hard to get us ready to deliver the vaccine locally.
"We will continue to follow the national prioritisation guidance as the programme rolls out, and as the range of places in which people can receive the immunisation expands.
"People will be invited to attend an appointment directly – there is no need to call us – and we ask everyone to continue to follow guidance including Hands Face Space and maintaining good hand hygiene to prevent the spread of the virus.”