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Royal Surrey Covid Jabs Start Tuesday, But You Must Wait Your Turn

Published on: 6 Dec, 2020
Updated on: 6 Dec, 2020

The Royal Surrey is among 50 hospitals to start vaccinating patients against coronavirus from Tuesday in Britain’s biggest immunisation programme.

Frimley is the only other Surrey hospital to be included on the list, as is St George’s University Hospitals in the London Borough of Wandsworth.

A spokesperson at the Royal Surrey stressed that patients will be contacted when it’s the right time to come forward. People are asked not to contact or visit the hospital to seek a vaccine before then.

First to have the jab will be those aged 80, care home workers and NHS workers at higher risk.

Out-patients aged 80 and above and those being discharged from hospital stay, will also be offered vaccination.

Additionally, hospitals will begin inviting over-80s with care home providers to book their staff for clinics.

Jo Mountjoy

Any appointments not used for these groups will be used for healthcare workers who are at highest risk of serious illness from Covid. Forty million doses are being delivered and all those vaccinated will need a booster jab 21 days later.

Royal Surrey’s Chief Nurse, Jo Mountjoy, said: “This is a moment of real hope for our community. We look forward to working with our local partners on this and we thank our staff for their ongoing hard work and dedication throughout this pandemic.”

Ruth Hutchinson, Surrey’s director of public health, said: “This is momentous news for Surrey. But it’s important to remember Surrey’s infection rates tell us we have continued community spread of the virus

“So, for now, we must all continue to follow the guidelines and play our part to keep Surrey safe.”

GPs and other primary care staff are also being put on standby to start delivering the jab. Some GP-led primary care networks will begin during the week beginning December 14, with more practices in parts of the country joining in.

Vaccination centres treating large numbers of patients in sporting venues and conference centres will in operation when further supplies of vaccine come on stream.

Professor Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, said: “Despite the huge complexities, hospitals will kickstart the first phase. The first tranche of vaccine deliveries will be landing at hospitals by Monday in readiness.

“The NHS has a strong record of delivering large-scale vaccination programmes, from the flu jab, HPV vaccine and lifesaving MMR jabs. Hardworking staff will once again rise to the challenge to protect the most vulnerable people from this awful disease.”

The life-saving vaccine is typically delivered by a simple injection in the shoulder but there is a complex and difficult logistical challenge to deliver from the manufacturers Pfizer to patients.

It needs to be stored at -70C before being thawed and can be moved only four times within that cold chain before being used.

NHS staff have been working over the weekend to prepare the sites and accept deliveries.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “This coming week will be a historic moment as we begin vaccination against COVID-19.

“We are prioritising the most vulnerable first and over-80s, care home staff and NHS colleagues will all be among the first to receive the vaccines.

“We are doing everything we can to make sure we can overcome significant challenges to vaccinate care home residents as soon as possible too.

“I urge everybody to play their part to suppress this virus and follow the local restrictions to protect the NHS while they carry out this crucial work.”

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