The first local vaccination service has opened today at the Ashfield Health Village in Nottinghamshire.
The site will support the roll out of the national vaccination programme with further sites set to open across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire in the coming days and weeks.
One of the first residents to get vaccinated at the Ashfield site was 81 year old Eric Gent, who was over the moon he was receiving his vaccine. Eric said:
“The experience today has been very straightforward. The people who are organising it know exactly where they want you and what they want from you and the place is geared up to fit in with that.
“There was no pain at all – a jab is just a jab. This will mean I don’t have to worry so much about Covid now, even when I just want to have a walk down the road it gives me that cover.”
All NHS partners and local authorities across the healthcare system have been working together to prepare for the opening of the local vaccination service at Ashfield Health village.
Recipients of the vaccine will be called forward in priority order as set out by the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). The NHS will send letters to eligible people in due course and vaccines will be by appointment only. First priority at the Ashfield Health Village site is for those over the age of 80 and frontline health and social care workers.
Health bosses have asked the public to wait until they have received a letter before contacting the NHS, their GP or local hospital hub – the letter will have full details of how to make an appointment. Do not call your GP or turn up at A&E or your doctor’s surgery – the only way to get an appointment and the jab is to follow the instructions in the letter. Once you have received a letter, please make your appointment as quickly as possible.
Dr Thilan Bartholomeuz, GP and Clinical Lead for the Mid-Nottinghamshire Integrated Care Partnership said: “This is a significant day in the roll out of the Covid-19 vaccination programme in Nottinghamshire. I’d like to thank all of those involved for their continued hard work and efforts on what is the biggest vaccination programme the NHS has ever undertaken.
“We understand that everyone is keen to be vaccinated but ask the public to be patient so we can prioritise vaccinating those most at risk first. When it is your turn to have the vaccine, you will receive a letter from the NHS with instructions on how to book so in the meantime please do not call your practice or drop in. Once you receive your letter, please book your appointment as quickly as possible. Please also remember to follow the guidance in place to help control the spread of the virus and save lives.”
Leader of Ashfield District Council, Jason Zadrozny said: “This is an exciting moment for Ashfield as we celebrate the opening of the first Vaccination Service in Nottinghamshire, which will play a vital role in the biggest immunisation programme in NHS history.”
Cllr Zadrozny continued “Although the rollout of the vaccine is exciting and we hope it will prove to be a pivotal moment in the fight against COVID-19, I’d ask people to be patient and wait until they are contacted. The NHS will contact you when it’s your turn so please don’t turn up at a vaccination centre, don’t ring your GP or local hospital.
“I’d encourage everyone who receives a letter inviting them to have the vaccine, to get it just as Eric has today. This will protect them from COVID-19 and hopefully help us all return to a more normal way of life as quickly as possible.
“Despite us now being back in a national lockdown, it feels like there is finally light at the end of the tunnel and I’m so proud of everyone who has worked hard to get to this stage – thank you. We will continue working with our partners to support the rollout in any way we can.”
It’s important that everyone keeps following the national guidance and local COVID alert level restrictions, whilst remembering to wash our hands, wear a face mask and socially distance.
The public have an important part to play to help:
• please don’t contact the NHS to seek a vaccine, we will contact you;
• when we do contact you, please attend your booked appointments;
• and please continue to follow all the guidance to control the virus and save lives.
For more information about the Covid-19 vaccination, please click here.