Covid vaccinations begin at GP surgeries in North Somerset
- Credit: Julie Hitchens
Vaccinations are beginning at GP surgeries across North Somerset this week to protect those most at risk from Covid-19.
Riverbank Medical Centre, in Weston, and Pudding Pie Lane Surgery, in Langford, are the two sites in North Somerset which will be carrying out vaccinations in the first wave of the GP-led programme.
People aged 80 and over, as well as care home workers, will be the first to be invited to get the jab.
Patients are being urged not to contact their local surgeries, but to wait for a call from staff.
Local GP Dr John Heather, began vaccinating people at Riverside surgery today (Tuesday).
Dr Heather said: “This is a historic moment and we are delighted to be able to start vaccinating the most vulnerable people over the age of 80 from today.
"We have been booking appointments for the last few days in line with the national prioritisation guidance, and we are asking everyone to be patient, and not to contact your local surgery. Don’t worry – we will call you when it’s your turn.
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"This is a huge undertaking, and we want to thank our incredible staff who have worked round the clock to ensure we have been able to start vaccinating as quickly as possible.”
Vaccinations began at hospital hubs last week, with Southmead Hospital leading the rollout of immunisations for people in North Somerset.
The programme is now being rolled out at GP services – with four sites across North Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire announced so far.
Due to limited early supply of the vaccine, the wave one sites have been selected on the basis of geography, the number of people aged over 80 in the local population and operational readiness.
More sites will be announced in the coming weeks as the roll-out continues into the new year.
GPs are administering the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which was the first to be declared safe and effective and approved for mass use by UK regulators.
The vaccine needs to be stored at –70C to prevent it from degrading.
GP practices have been told they need to get through 975 doses in three-and-a-half days – the time limit on keeping the vaccine at regular fridge temperature.