Mass rollout of Oxford vaccine begins in North Somerset

People queuing for vaccines in North Somerset

People queuing up for their vaccines in North Somerset. - Credit: BNSSG CCG

The mass rollout of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine began at GP surgeries yesterday (Thursday).

Bristol's Ashton Gate Stadium will begin giving out the vaccine next week, along with more GP surgeries in North Somerset.

The Oxford vaccine will make it easier to protect care home residents and those who are housebound, as it does not need to be stored at ultra-low temperatures like the Pfizer vaccine and can be transported more easily.

Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (BNSSSG) has confirmed there will be a GP practice vaccination centre up and running in every neighbourhood by the end of next week - 19 sites in total.

Local GP and member of the clinical team responsible for the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire coronavirus vaccination programme, Dr Neil Kerfoot, said: “We’re delighted to have received the AstraZeneca Oxford vaccine here at Kingswood Health Centre and in other sites across BNSSG. 

“There's still much to be done, and we are working tirelessly to ensure the vaccine is rolled out effectively to everyone in the area who needs it. 

“Our shared priority at the moment is to visit and vaccinate care home residents and staff, as well as vaccinating the over 80s across BNSSG.

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He added: “We want to reassure our over 80s population that if you haven't yet been contacted - please don't worry, we will be in touch very soon.”

In December, Southmead Hospital became one of 50 hospital hubs around the country vaccinating people over 80, along with NHS and care home staff.

In North Somerset, vaccinations are already being carried out at Riverbank Medical Centre, in Weston, Pudding Pie Lane Surgery, in Langford, Brockway Medical Centre, in Nailsea, and Portishead Medical Centre.

Alongside people over the age of 80, care home residents and staff have been set as the highest priority group by the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

The new Oxford vaccine will enable the NHS to protect more people, however bosses have warned it will still take some time to reach everyone.

The NHS is asking people to wait for their surgeries to contact them.

To find out more about local vaccinations, log on to bnssghealthiertogether.org.uk/covid-19-mass-vaccination/

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