A second community vaccination site will soon provide a further powerful weapon in the fight against COVID across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.
The centre in central Stafford will soon be available for people in priority groups to book vaccinations.
The first community site opened in Tunstall in Stoke-on-Trent last week and preparations are also advanced to open a third site.
Dr Paddy Hannigan, Clinical Lead for the COVID Vaccination Programme said: “We are continuing to ramp up our vaccination programme and the Stafford community site will be another powerful resource.
“The Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent programme is so far on course to meet the target of vaccinating the most vulnerable groups identified by Government by mid-February. The great majority of patients aged over 80 have now received their first vaccination, with most care home residents also receiving vaccinations, while roving teams prioritise housebound patients.”
Other vaccination resources within the area include:
23 GP-led vaccination sites
Sites within hospitals to vaccinate frontline NHS and care home staff and some patients
Neil Carr, Chief Executive Officer of MPFT and Senior Responsible Officer for the Vaccination Programme, said: “Staff and volunteers are working tirelessly across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent to vaccinate as many as possible, and this has now surpassed 143,000.
“This is now over 86 per cent of people aged over 80, with all to have been offered a vaccine shortly.”
Leader for Staffordshire County Council, Alan White, said: “The large vaccination site in Stafford brings more encouraging news for people in Staffordshire and showcases yet another example of fantastic partnership working with our local NHS colleagues during this challenging pandemic.
“As the work to deliver the vaccines continues, Staffordshire people can play their part by continuing to follow the rules and by attending their vaccine appointment when invited by the NHS.
“When people have had the vaccination it’s important to continue hands, face, space and get tested regularly.”
Patrick Farrington, Leader of Stafford Borough Council, said: “I’m delighted to see the vaccination centre coming to the heart of Stafford. I’d urge everyone who is given an appointment to receive the vaccine to please make sure you attend. This is a way out of this terrible virus. It is an opportunity to protect our families and friends, as well as our health service. It is another step on the road to removing the restrictions that have been placed on us over the last year.”
Dr Hannigan said: “We need to keep reminding everyone that this is the most ambitious vaccination programme in history and is a marathon not a sprint.
“GP practices are contacting patients offering appointments, but you may also receive a letter asking you to book through the new national booking system. If this happens just do whichever is most convenient for you. The most important thing is that you get the protection you need.
“Our most important vaccination messages are, we will contact you when it’s your turn to get protected so you don’t need to contact us; please have the vaccination when you are offered it; please continue to follow guidance to help control the spread of the virus.”