Local leaders have praised the work of health and care staff who have “pulled out all the stops” to get the most challenging nationally led vaccination programme in the history of the NHS off the ground in North East Lincolnshire.
Patients most at risk from the complications of COVID-19 are being offered the vaccine first which is currently being delivered from four local vaccination centres in North East Lincolnshire. The order in which people are being offered the vaccine is based on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
Vaccination of health and social care workers is also underway, primarily from hospital hubs to enable them to safely continue delivering vital care.
Cllr Phillip Jackson, leader of North East Lincolnshire Council, paid tribute to staff and urged the public to help them by not contacting GP practices or the hospital to try and get a COVID vaccination.
“We really cannot underestimate the enormous effort it has taken to get this huge undertaking underway with staff going over and above to ensure we get this vital protection to our most vulnerable patients,” said Cllr Jackson.
“The roll out of the vaccination programme in North East Lincolnshire is hugely positive news during a difficult time and it is wonderful to see so many people embracing this and attending their appointments to have the vaccine. Please remember, the NHS will get in touch with you when it’s your turn to be vaccinated. Please don’t contact your GP or hospital to try and book.”
There are vaccination centres at four primary care centres (which house a number of GP practices) in Immingham, Cleethorpes, Scartho and Grimsby. These sites also host ‘roving’ vaccination teams which will vaccinate people within care homes and the housebound. However, any home visits will be arranged by the NHS prior to the appointment and people should not accept any door-to-door offers of vaccination. The NHS will also never charge for a COVID vaccination and any attempts to gain money for an offer of a vaccination should be reported to the police.
Mark Webb, chair of NHS North East Lincolnshire CCG, said he was very proud to be part of the health and care system in North East Lincolnshire.
“Staff – clinicians and support staff – have really pulled out all of the stops to get what is the most challenging vaccination programme the NHS has ever seen successfully off the ground,” said Mr Webb. “It is absolutely wonderful seeing photographs start to appear and listening to patients who have received their vaccination both thanking staff and reassuring other patients about the whole vaccination process and letting them know it really is nothing to be concerned about.
“It is still very early days in what is going to be a massive undertaking. The local and regional NHS and its partners, including North East Lincolnshire Council, are working to understand the potential for other sites within our area.
“While everyone is very excited about the potential of the vaccines to help us beat the pandemic and return life to something more like normal, we do all need to be patient. It is absolutely vital that we all continue to stick to the current lockdown restrictions and stay at home. If we do need to go out, please remember hands, face and space. We all have our part to play in keeping one another safe.”
To find out more about the vaccination programme please visit nhs.uk.