Today a patient in a GP surgery in Bishop Auckland received the millionth vaccine given in the North East and North Cumbria.
The region is continuing to progress quickly with the majority of vaccinations being given through GP led services working as part of a Primary Care Network supported by the four large vaccination centres in the region and community pharmacies.
Clare Ripley was given the Oxford-Astra Zeneca vaccine at Station View Medical Centre in Bishop Auckland today.
Claire said, “As a carer of both my elderly mother and two young children, it is important to me that I am vaccinated.”
“Dr Nair, one of the doctors here at this practice unfortunately lost her battle with COVID-19 and her family are feeling the consequences of this virus. I know she would be encouraging patients to take the vaccine. She was always very good to my family, and I think that this is the best course of action for all families out there.”
“ It is important we all are vaccinated to prevent the spread of this virus, if not for ourselves for other people, we need to get back to our lives, make memories with our loved ones before it’s too late.”
The NHS is prioritising vaccinating those who experts have agreed will benefit from having it the most.
Since Monday 15th February, people in cohorts 5 and 6 were being invited by the NHS to have their vaccine.
Cohort 5 – all those 65 years of age and over
Cohort 6 – all individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality. This includes also unpaid adult carers – those who are in receipt of a carers allowance, or those who are the main carer of an elderly r disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill.
Local GP vaccination services are focusing initially on the clinically vulnerable from cohort 6 because of the relationship between general practice and those with long term conditions, and continuity of care.
This was closely followed by
Cohort 7 – all individuals aged 60 and over
Just released at the weekend
Cohort 8 – all individuals aged 55 and over
Station View practice Manager, Sarah Westgarth said, “The vaccine roll out has been positive. I am honoured to be fronting this programme for the surgery. I am extremely proud of all the staff here at Station View that have made this possible, I feel very lucky to have such an amazing team leading the way in primary care services.”
“In addition to GP vaccination services, large vaccination centres offer an alternative choice for people. People may wish to wait a little while until they receive an invitation from their own GP practice as this is likely to be closer to where they live and might be more convenient depending on individual circumstances.”
Suzanne Mcgonnell, a nurse at Station View, who gave the millionth vaccine shared how proud she was to be able to support the vaccine rollout programme.
“ Things have been extremely difficult for all staff in recent months however the vaccine shows us that the light at the end of the tunnel is closer.
“I am honoured to be part of this and urge anyone that is offered it to take the vaccine.”
Dr Findlay, Primary Care Clinical Director, for the programme thanked those involves,
“This is a huge, combined team effort. Everyone in GP practices, primary care, clinical commissioning groups and hospitals – the thousands of NHS workers who moved on to the vaccination programme from other jobs. Our partners in the local councils from social care, public health, transport and planning. All our volunteers from the police, fire service, a huge range of community and voluntary organisations. Travel and transport partners, nexus, bus companies who are helping to make access to vaccination services as easy as possible. It’s every one of you that has made this milestone possible, giving everyone hope that we are on our way out of this terrible pandemic.”