Coronavirus: Vaccination programme locally off to a strong start
We wanted to give everyone a quick update on how Shropshire’s vaccination programme is going.
The vaccination programme – the biggest in NHS history – is off to a strong start, and millions of doses have now been delivered across the country, including covering almost one in four people over the age of 80.
We know many of you will have questions around the rollout of the vaccine here in Shropshire, and here is what has been achieved so far:
- Further local vaccination centres are due to open by the end of January
- Over 11,000 people have been vaccinated in Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin since December
- The aim is for the vaccine to reach Shropshire care homes by the end of January
NHS teams, supported by the council, have been working hard over the last month to deliver the vaccine in our hospital hubs, local GP-led services and care homes, at the same time as providing care to all those who need it and the rising number of COVID-19 cases.
How will I be invited for a vaccination?
You’ll receive an invitation, usually a letter from either your GP or the national booking system. This will include all the information you need, including your NHS number.
This is the biggest vaccination programme in UK history, which means it will take time to vaccinate all eligible people. All we ask is for a little patience, everyone is working flat out to get this done as quickly as we can.
We know many people are eager to get protected, but please do not to contact the NHS to get an appointment until you get your letter.
In Shropshire there’s already several vaccination sites, including the hospital hubs at Royal Shrewsbury and Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt in Gobowen.
The vaccine will be offered to more people at other locations in Shropshire, as soon as possible. These will include further local vaccine services provided by GPs and pharmacists, in people’s homes for those who are housebound, and at new dedicated vaccination centres to make sure that everyone who needs a vaccine is able to get one.
Vaccination centres will be available across Shropshire, and we expect the first of these will be up and running by the end of January. We’ll publish more details about these as soon as we can – sign up for our latest Covid updates here
Nationally, the Government has announced seven large vaccination centres with the closest at the Millennium Point in Birmingham
Some eligible Shropshire residents have received letters over the weekend offering them the opportunity to book an appointment at one of the new large vaccination centres.
Anyone who has received this letter can of course take up the offer, but we want to reassure everyone that you can still choose to receive your vaccination closer to home and you do not need to travel out of the county unless you wish to.
To ensure that those who are greatest risk get their vaccination first, we are asking the public to help us and wait for the NHS to contact them when it is their turn, and to not come to vaccination centres (or any other service) without an appointment.
How we have been supporting with the vaccination programme
Whilst the NHS are leading the delivery of the vaccination against COVID-19 programme, the council is supporting this in many ways to ensure it reaches as many residents, as quickly as possible. Our support includes:
- Ensuring our vaccination centres have the right IT support
- Supporting the identification of potential local vaccination centres
- Our community transport buses are ready to assist with any transport needs
- Council staff will be redeployed from other duties to help in a range of roles, including at vaccination sites
- Supporting Shropshire care homes by:
- Helping NHS colleagues identify and prioritise care home staff for the vaccine
- Providing care in the community for people who have had the vaccine
- Providing training and support for care homes on how to use the vaccination booking system.
To find out more information about the vaccine rollout, please visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/coronavirus-vaccine/
To keep up to date with the latest advice on service updates at Shropshire Council, sign up to our Newsroom or follow us on Twitter @shropcouncil and Facebook.
For local advice and support during the pandemic (especially if you are self-isolating or shielding), call Shropshire Council’s COVID-19 Helpline on 0345 678 9028 (lines open on the weekend on Saturday from 9am-4pm and Sunday 9am-12pm) or visit our website at www.shropshire.gov.uk/coronavirus.