NHS staff will be delivering life-saving Covid jabs at a network of more than 200 vaccination sites in the south east when more open their doors today.
These join an Odeon cinema in Aylesbury, a sports centre on the Isle of Wight, a football club in Dartford, racecourses in Epsom, Brighton and Newbury and an events centre in Guildford in delivering Covid vaccinations.
They are among 232 vaccinations sites ranging from GP and pharmacy-led services to hospitals and large-scale Vaccination Centres that are now operating in the region.
NHS staff will also be visiting those who cannot go to their local service or travel to a Vaccination Centre.
Dr Vaughan Lewis, Medical Director for the NHS in the south east, said:
“The NHS vaccination programme, the biggest in health service history, has got off to a strong start with over a million jabs delivered across the South East.”
“NHS staff have worked with businesses and community groups to set up an extensive network of vaccination sites that offer a range of options for people in all areas to receive their injection.
“We want to protect as many people as swiftly as possible and with more than 200 sites now up and running, we can continue to expand delivery as more vaccine supplies come on stream.”
In the south east there are now 42 hospital sites delivering the jabs along with 6 large scale Vaccination Centres and 178 GP-led services.
High Street pharmacies are vaccinating at 6 sites with more due to go live in the coming weeks.
Thousands of people aged 70 and over have been invited to arrange a jab at a Vaccination Centre or pharmacy service through the national booking system.
People in the top four priority groups including people aged 70 years old and over and those who are deemed to be clinically extremely vulnerable, are being invited to arrange a vaccination through the national booking service.
Those who cannot or do not want to travel can wait to be invited to their local GP service or hospital.
The country’s leading doctors and nurses have urged people only to come to a vaccination centre when invited to do so, to help ensure that priority groups are served first and to maintain safe social distancing at every venue.
The NHS made history when Maggie Keenan received the Pfizer vaccine at Coventry Hospital on the 8 December 2020.
The NHS was also the first health system to deliver the new Oxford AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine when Brian Pinker, 82, was jabbed on 4 January 2021.
Research carried out in the NHS also identified the world’s first treatment for COVID, the steroid Dexamethasone.
Regional Chief Pharmacist, Sue Ladds, said: “Pharmacies are becoming part of the Covid vaccination infrastructure in more and more parts of England. It is great that many independent pharmacies are rising to the challenge, alongside the national chains, GPs, hospitals, and others, in this vital combined effort.
“We are confident that pharmacies will become increasingly core to the success of the vaccination programme as it rolls out. They are ultimately capable of protecting millions of people and can reach into communities across the land, to vaccinate, advise and care.”