GPs in Lancashire to begin offering Covid vaccine - here's what you need to know

The Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine will be rolled out to GP surgeries in Lancashire this week.

By Sean Gleaves
Tuesday, 15th December 2020, 12:01 am

GP practices in Barrow-in-Furness, Blackpool, Burnley, Chorley, Lytham St Annes and Preston have started to take delivery of the vaccine, with the first clinics starting from Tuesday, December 15, including sites at Lytham Primary Care Centre and Marton Medical Practice.

Sites in Accrington, Blackburn, Lancaster and Ormskirk will open from Wednesday, December 16, and more sites are set to go live from later in the week onwards.

Jane Scattergood, Covid-19 Vaccination Director for Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System, said: "We are at the start of what will be the largest vaccination programme in our history and local teams are working hard to put arrangements in place to allow us to start protecting the most vulnerable people in our communities.

The vaccine will be rolled out to GP surgeries in Lancashire this week.

"It is fantastic that we are now able to start delivering vaccinations within community settings locally and we would like to say a huge thank you to the teams of Primary Care colleagues who are working together across Lancashire and South Cumbria to make this happen.

"The programme will continue to expand over the coming days, weeks and months, bringing vaccination much closer to everyone - but this will be a marathon, not a sprint."

NHS staff including nurses and pharmacists will work alongside GPs to inoculate those aged 80 and over, as well as care home workers and residents who are at higher risk.

The vaccination centres will operate from doctors' surgeries or community hubs in villages, towns and cities.

The public have been reminded not to contact the NHS to try and get a vaccine as they will contact people in the priority groups when it is their turn to receive the vaccine.

Dr Nikki Kanani, practising GP and NHS Director of Primary Care, said: "This is the greatest vaccination programme ever undertaken by the NHS and to help vaccinate people safely we will be working with local communities to deliver it in convenient and familiar settings.

“As a GP I am proud to be part of this huge national effort to protect our patients against the virus and I would urge the public to come forward when they are called up for the vaccine.”

The community sites build on the work of the scores of hospital hubs which have already started vaccinating across the country, with Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust among the first hospitals in the country to receive and start vaccinating people with the Covid-19 vaccine.

The latest phase of the vaccine roll-out is being co-ordinated by GP-led primary care networks with more practices and community pharmacies in other parts of England joining on a phased basis during December and in the coming months.

Professor Martin Marshall, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: "GPs and our teams are about to embark on an enormous challenge, delivering the Covid-19 vaccination programme in the community whilst also delivering the expanded flu vaccine programme and the usual care and services our patients rely on us for.

"There are also logistical challenges but general practice has an excellent track record of delivering mass vaccination programmes, and we want to use this experience to help protect people from Covid-19 and start getting life back to normal again.

"We won’t be vaccinating everyone all at once - it will be a relatively small number at first - but as long as there is supply, GPs and our teams at selected sites will start vaccinating people this week, starting with our most vulnerable patients."

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