The North West’s lead for the COVID-19 vaccination programme has praised the incredible efforts from NHS staff, local partners and volunteers as the region marks the first year anniversary of the biggest vaccination programme in history.
In the 12 months since the programme started on 8 December 2020, more than 12.2 million doses have been given in the region, including more than 2.1 million booster jabs, at GP practices, pharmacies, hospital hubs, vaccination centres, schools and community buildings, as well as a range of mobile sites at locations ranging from zoos to music festivals.
Thanks to the incredible efforts from everyone involved and those who have had the vaccine it’s estimated that between 15,000 and 20,000 lives have been saved across the North West.
Dr Linda Charles-Ozuzu, Regional Director of Commissioning for NHS England and NHS Improvement and SRO for the Vaccination Programme in the North West, has been the spearhead for the vaccination programme since it started.
She said, “The hard work and dedication from the vaccination teams across the region is tremendous and I’m delighted that we have successfully given more than 12.2 million jabs, including more than 2.1 million booster jabs in less than 12 months.
“People who have come forward to be vaccinated have played their part in protecting our communities from the virus and have helped to make the programme such a success.
“Although we’re celebrating, I’d like to remind everyone that we still have a challenging winter ahead. If you haven’t already been vaccinated, or are due a second or booster dose, please come forward and make sure you and your loved ones are protected.”
In the first year of the programme., North West vaccinators have used 205 miles of needles to protect us from the virus, which equates to the distance an astronaut would travel from space to earth, and an impressive 1,000 gallons of vaccine.
The Covid-19 vaccine is available to everyone aged 12 and over. Booster vaccines are currently offered to everyone aged 40 and over, frontline health and social care workers and those aged 16 and over with an underlying health condition putting them at greater risk from the virus, six months after the second dose. Following JCVI guidance to accelerate the vaccination programme in response to the potential threat from the new Omicron variant, the NHS is working on plans to offer a booster dose to everyone aged 18 and over from 3 months after the previous dose. The NHS will tell people when it is their turn to have the booster vaccine.