90 per cent of over 70s in Lancashire get Covid jab
Health bosses have praised efforts to vaccinate the priority groups in Lancashire as figures reveal 90 per cent of over-70's in borough have received first jab.
NHS figures released today revealed that just over 90 per cent of over 70's have been given their first jab in the fight against coronavirus.
As of February 7, 233,093 of those over 70 in Lancashire and South Cumbria have had their first vaccination out of an estimated 257,094 living in the borough.
The borough impressively ranks sixth in the country for the number of total first and second doses given out, at 387,169, up from 284,913 on January 31.
And 374,088 people of all ages have now been given their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.
Jane Scattergood, Covid-19 Vaccination Director for Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System is continuing to encourage people aged 70 and over to contact the NHS if they have not yet had their first dose.
She said: “The NHS Covid-19 vaccination programme, the biggest in health service history continues to make significant progress, in Lancashire and South Cumbria we have now vaccinated over 374,000 people thanks to the tireless efforts of my colleagues.
“We are on track to meet our goal of offering everyone in the top four priority groups a jab. But if you are aged 70 and over, and haven’t yet received your vaccine, please come forward and make an appointment as soon as you can. The vaccine is safe, simple, and will offer you and those around you crucial protection against this virus.
“The rollout of the vaccine involves a wide range of organisations working together. We are hugely grateful for the significant support given to the NHS to help the NHS deliver the Covid-19 vaccination programme from our wider partners including Cumbria County Council, Lancashire County Council, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, Blackpool Council, our district councils, the military, police, local businesses and many more.”
Public Health England figures yesterday showed that 88,344 people had been confirmed as testing positive for Covid-19 in Lancashire, up from 88,027 the same time on Tuesday.
PCN local designated sites first began their operations on December 14 and were vital at the initial rollout of the vaccination.
Penwortham Cricket Club, who vaccinated over 3,000 people in their first month is now jabbing up to 600 people in a single day.
Club secretary Andrew Bailey said: "We are still only open between one and two days a week, but we still remain all geared up with our volunteers to open seven days if we had to.
"The process for us has been going really positively and now we are administering the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine we are doing hundreds of people in a single day. Patients that have been coming to get their vaccine have told us what a brilliant system we have.
"At the beginning, we were giving the jab to around 300 people every day but now we can do up to five or six hundred now that it is being offered to the over 70s. Our process is quick and seamless and all our volunteers on hand are absolutely brilliant.
"We were told when we took on this contract that we needed the capacity to be able to open all week so it is a little disappointing that we aren't because we want to help the community. With small vaccine hubs like ours, it is easy for older people to access and park, and they could be back home with the kettle on within ten minutes."
Saghir Ahmed, superintendent pharmacist of the Imaan Pharmacy chain has been on hand issuing the jab to more than 400 people a day at the AFC Fylde’s Mill Farm ground, Wesham.
And due to their success, he said that they are expecting to start giving over 65's their vaccinations from early next week, as the rollout continues.
He said: "The vaccine rollout has been going really well for us because the set up is brilliant, the site is easy to find and all the volunteers work well together.
"So far, all the feedback from the patients has been fantastic which is lovely to hear. From what I've seen and heard from others, it has been an extremely efficient system.
"When we open changes daily - we work some days where we have vaccinated 430 people, but there are other days it is much quieter because we run out of supplies, and this week we haven't been open at all.
"We need to be realistic and recognise that this vaccine is completely new and has to be manufactured and then transported to each site. I predict that by the end of this month, the demand will ramp up again and we will have a much greater capacity.
"The NHS is trying to get allocations out to different areas and they have been getting it completely right this far because the current cohort of over 70s in the area have almost all been given their first dose and those who haven't are being encouraged to come forward.
"Next week, I expect we will be moving on to giving the jab to the next category of vulnerable people and over 65's, which is when our site activity will increase again. Of course, we would love to open every day and vaccinate more people, but we are all working cohesively together and need to remain reasonable about how quickly we can work through it.
In a bid to administer the vaccine to over 50's by May, the new mass vaccination centre is gearing up to open in Preston's former B&M Bargains store.
The news comes as people over the age of 70 who have not yet been offered a Covid jab continue to be encouraged to contact the NHS to arrange an appointment.
The Post now understands that Preston’s new mass vaccination hub will open in St John’s Shopping Arcade 'in the coming weeks'
Vaccines will still be delivered from existing GP and hospital hubs and community pharmacies across Central Lancashire once the large-scale venue in Preston opens.
Until now the NHS has asked people to wait until they are contacted to help ensure that those who are most vulnerable are protected first - and that remains the case for most people.
However, to ensure absolutely everyone is offered the vaccine, people aged 70 and over can now contact the NHS so they can be vaccinated by the middle of this month.
In under ten weeks, the health service has in England delivered 11 million vaccinations.
Covid-19 Vaccination Director for Lancashire and South Cumbria Jane Scattergood said: “The NHS vaccination programme, the biggest in health service history, is off to a strong start with every eligible care home receiving a visit and millions of more people being vaccinated at one of over 1,500 centres across the country thanks to the tireless efforts of my colleagues.
“But if you are aged 70 and over, and haven’t yet received your vaccine, please come forward and make an appointment as soon as you can.
“The vaccine is safe, simple, and will offer you and those around you crucial protection against this virus.”
A full list of vaccination centres, including hospital hubs and pharmacies involved in the roll out can be found here.
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