NHS COVID-19 vaccination drive delivers for people in the North West

Over 1.6 million people across the North West have now had their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The regional lead for the NHS Covid vaccination programme across the North West has thanked NHS staff, partners from local authorities and volunteers for their efforts in rolling out the first phase of the vaccination programme. 

Dr Linda Charles-Ozuzu is the Senior Responsible Officer for the vaccination programme for the North West and regional director of commissioning for the NHS, and has paid tribute to the many hours that teams have put in, to ensure that the vaccine has been provided to some of the most vulnerable people in our region. 

She said, “It is a great testament to the commitment of colleagues that 15 million across the UK have had their first dose.  This has been a real joint effort across the North West.  It’s clear that people are aware of how important the vaccination programme is – to staying safe and helping us defeat this virus.”

Over one million people aged 65 and over nationwide have now been invited to book a vaccination as part of the next phase, with another 1.2 million set to be invited throughout the week. 

In the next phase, GPs have been asked to offer jabs to clinically vulnerable patients, while people aged 65 and over will in the first instance be invited to book a vaccination at one of the vaccination centres. Carers will also be offered the chance to get vaccinated.

Four additional large vaccination sites are launching this week in the region, bringing the total number of sites offering the vaccine to 231.

Linda added,“It is great news that we have vaccinated the majority of people aged 70 and over, along with health and care staff.  As we move to the next groups, I’d like to reinforce the request for anyone aged 70 and older, who hasn’t yet taken up the offer to be vaccinated, to get in touch with their GP practice. Getting the vaccine reduces the risk of you becoming seriously ill from the virus.”

The large numbers of very sick patients that hospitals are still seeing demonstrates that we cannot let our guard down now, and underlines the importance of offering the first dose to as many people as possible quickly.

So while NHS staff are doing – and will continue to do – an incredible job to deliver the vaccination programme at the same time as continuing to be there for everyone who needs care, until the virus is under control we continue to need the public’s help:

  • unless you are aged 70 or over or on the Shielded Patient List, please don’t contact the NHS to seek a vaccine, we will contact you when it is the right time;
  • please attend your booked appointments at exactly the time you’re asked to, so that we can avoid queues in this cold weather;
  • and please, whether you have had your vaccine or not, continue to stay at home as much as possible, and follow the ‘hands, face, space’ rule when you’re in public places.

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