Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent vaccination campaign hits first anniversary | Together We’re Better

Posted on behalf of Together We’re Better

Health services across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire are marking the first anniversary of the region’s COVID-19 vaccination drive this week – an effort that has seen more than two million jabs administered to patients.

The national vaccination campaign was launched on December 8, 2020, with the local campaign starting two days later, initially focused upon offering doses to people aged over 80 and health and care workers.

Since then, the campaign has expanded to offer first, second and booster vaccines, as well as third jabs for immunocompromised patients. The range of patients being offered jabs appropriate to their age has expanded from people over 80 down to children aged 12-15, with the rollout currently being accelerated to help counter the threat of the new Omicron variant.

Dr Paddy Hannigan, Clinical Lead for the vaccination programme in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, said: “When the COVID-19 vaccination drive was launched last December we knew that we had an immense challenge ahead of us, but everybody involved can be truly proud of their achievement over the last 12 months, which has saved so many people from death or serious illness as a result of the coronavirus.

“Last week we reached the milestone of two million patients vaccinated, a fantastic outcome which demonstrates what we can achieve as a health and care system when we all work together.

“This effort has involved all of our local NHS services, both Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Staffordshire County Council, Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service, Staffordshire Police, the military and the voluntary sector and I’d like to say a heartfelt thank-you to them all”.

Over the past 12 months the vaccinations have been delivered at hospital hubs, vaccination centres, GP surgeries, pharmacies, and walk-in centres across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, as well as in schools across the county.

By the start of December, 87.1 per cent of patients in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire had received their first dose, 83.6 per cent had received their second dose and 70 per cent of those eligible for a booster jab had received their dose, with 77.7 per cent of care home residents having had a booster – the highest figure in the Midlands.

Some 66.1 per cent of 16 and 17-year-olds have received their first dose, along with 44.8 per cent of 12 to 15-year-olds.

Dr Hannigan added: “Despite this huge achievement, the emergence of the Omicron variant shows that we cannot slacken our pace while this pandemic continues. During November we delivered an average of 45,000 doses a week and in coming weeks we aim to administer at least 60,000 a week to ensure that as many people as possible are protected.”

Dr Paul Edmondson-Jones MBE, Director of Adult Social Care, Health Integration and Wellbeing and Director of Public Health for Stoke-on-Trent said: “I’m sure that we all remember that significant milestone from the early morning of 8th December 2020 when Margaret Keenan rolled up her sleeve at her local hospital in Coventry and became the first person in the world to have a first dose of the vaccine against COVID-19.

“Now a year on, the confirmation earlier this week of an Omicron case in Staffordshire reinforces once again how vital it is that we all get vaccinated, have a booster jab, wear masks to protect each other and stay safe.

“In Stoke-on-Trent we have seen a marked increase in testing since the emergence of the Omicron variant in the UK. It is hugely encouraging that residents continue come forward for their first, second and booster vaccines; I encourage everyone who is eligible to book their appointments as soon as they can.”

Staffordshire County Council Cabinet Support Member for Public Health and Integrated Care, Dr Johnny McMahon, said: “The vaccine has proved a real game-changer in the battle against COVID-19 and the roll-out of it here in Staffordshire has been hugely impressive.

“However, it is important with Christmas and New Year around the corner and the Omicron variant confirmed in the county that everyone gets the vaccine and the booster as soon as they are eligible as this is the best way of protecting yourselves against the serious effects of this virus. So, please don’t put this off and book an appointment or attend a walk-in clinic as soon as possible and protect yourself this winter.”

Appointments for vaccines can be booked online through the National Booking System by visiting www.nhs.uk, or by calling 119.

Up-to-date details and times for all other Staffordshire COVID-19 vaccination walk-in clinics can be found at https://www.twbstaffsandstoke.org.uk/coronavirus/how-to-get-a-vaccine-where-and-travelling

You don’t need to be registered with a GP or have an NHS number to get your jab, but it will be quicker if you do, so take that information with you if you can.

Don’t miss out. Get vaccinated and get back to doing the things you love to do.

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