The most welcome news of 2020 is that the Covid-19 vaccine is already being given to South Gloucestershire residents, with the roll-out being administered through GP practices across the district and prioritising the over 80’s and those with underlying health conditions that make them more susceptible to severe illness were they to catch the coronavirus.
Vaccine clinics have already taken place at Kingswood, Downend and Yate, with around 3000 residents receiving their first dose of the two-step vaccination. More clinics are being planned for other parts of the district in the coming weeks.
It has been an incredibly tough year for many of us, but the dedication and commitment of health and care staff, including those working to provide crucial primary care services throughout the pandemic has been inspirational. The teams at the Kingswood and Yate surgeries have worked tirelessly to invite patients and administer the vaccine as soon as doses have become available.
Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Adults and Housing, Councillor Ben Stokes visited the West Walk Surgery in Yate on Thursday this week to meet staff and thank them for their work to begin the vaccination process for local residents. He said: “On behalf of South Gloucestershire Council and our residents, I want to thank staff for their dedication and care during this incredibly tough year. While we must remain vigilant against Covid in the coming weeks and months to keep ourselves, our loved ones and our communities protected, it is wonderful to be able to greet Christmas and the New Year with the good news that the vaccine is now being given to those most in need.”
Dr Sam Davies, Clinical Director for the Yate and Frampton Primary Care Network which run the West Walk surgery, said: “We were delighted to run our first Covid vaccination clinics this week for those who were either over the age of 80, or healthcare or care home staff. We really hope this marks the turning point in our fight against Covid-19 and look forward to vaccinating as many patients as possible over the coming months.”
The vaccination programme is being run by the NHS and information on where vaccinations are taking place in the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire region can be found on the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire CCG, now known as Healthier Together, website (COVID-19: Mass vaccination – Healthier Together (bnssghealthiertogether.org.uk)).
Patients are asked not to contact their GP about the vaccine. As doses become available to local practices, they will get in touch with patients to invite them to attend an appointment.
Residents who are offered an appointment, but who need help with transport can contact local Community Transport groups for help and many of the local Mutual Aid Groups are able to connect volunteers to patients needing help in a Covid-safe way. Details of the local groups and the support they are able to offer can be found on our website: Get help and support | BETA – South Gloucestershire Council (southglos.gov.uk).