Windsor and Maidenhead residents receive COVID-19 vaccine
The people of the Royal Borough have begun receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, as two vaccination services launched.
A clinic at Windsor Racecourse began delivering the first doses of the vaccine to the residents of Windsor, while the first Maidenhead residents started to get their doses at Maidenhead Town Hall.
Those receiving the vaccine are in the 80 and over age group, as they are at greatest risk of harm from the virus. They have all been contacted by their GP practices in recent days to arrange their appointments.
The first vaccines to be delivered nationwide were on December 8 through ‘hospital hubs’, as only acute hospitals had the necessary cold storage facilities to keep the virus at minus 70 degrees centigrade.
Since then the vaccine programme has been rolled out through GP practices working together as Primary Care Networks.
Dr Huw Thomas, GP and NHS East Berkshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s Interim place-based Clinical Lead for the Royal Borough, said: ““Vaccination remains one the most important contributors to public health.
“All of us here today are honoured to play a part in protecting our local residents.”
Sarah Bellars is the Executive Director of Quality of Nursing and Director of Infection, Prevention and Control at the NHS Frimley Collaborative of Clinical Commissioning Groups.
She said: “It is very exciting for the Primary Care Network to be at the forefront in vaccinating some of our most vulnerable residents and what is important to the people we are speaking to today, is that it is creating the opportunity for them to hopefully see their loved ones again after their second jab, and when restrictions allow.”
All of those attending for the vaccination are receiving the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine – the only one currently approved for public use in the UK. They must have two injections, three weeks apart, with full immunity developing a week after the second vaccine.
Across Frimley Health and Care a number of vaccination services have launched, including in Farnham (Surrey), in Camberley, Slough and Yateley. A clinic serving the people of Bracknell launched at the same time as the Windsor and Maidenhead services.
NHS England has reminded people that the vaccination programme will be lengthy – lasting many months – and that people should not contact NHS services to request the vaccine but will be contacted directly when their time comes to have the jab.