Midlands leading the way for number of coronavirus vaccinations
The Midlands is leading the way for the number of coronavirus vaccinations administered, figures show.
The latest published NHS England figures show 447,329 vaccination had been carried out in the Midlands in the period between December 8 and January 10,
The figures show 194,628 people under 80 and 193,019 over 80 had received their first dose, while 59,682 second doses had been administered.
It comes as vaccinations were being administered at Lichfield Cathedral this week.
The cathedral is being used by the Lichfield Primary Care Network for patients offered appointments via their GP surgery.
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Deidre Smouna, practice manager at the Langton Medical Group, said: “The dean of the cathedral offered us its use as an immunisation site. And the more looked into it, the more we realised how ideal it is.
“To begin with, it’s certainly not hard to find. But apart from being so symbolic of the area, it has a large amount of parking nearby, the main entrance is flat, and the nave is long enough to provide socially distanced queuing so that patients don’t have to wait outside. There is also a lot of space to allow a number of immunisation stations to operate safely and for patients to wait for the required 15 minutes after their injection.
“The other bonus is they have a wonderful team of volunteers who are offering to help as marshalls.”
The Very Rev Adrian Dorber, Dean of Lichfield, said: “The roll-out of these new vaccines to immunise us against Covid-19 was the best news of 2020.
“We want to offer this Cathedral nave as a big space that can safely and securely house local vaccination programmes and enable speedy delivery to those most at risk.”
Other non-medical buildings are being used as vaccination points in Staffordshire including a JCB digger factory and Stafford’s County Showground, while Millennium Point in Birmingham has become a mass vaccination site - with the Black Country Living Museum due to be set up in the coming days.
Across the country, vaccinations were starting to be delivered at High Street pharmacies from yesterday as the NHS accelerates the biggest vaccination programme in its history. Boots, Superdrug and several independent stores will be the first of hundreds of community pharmacies to offer vaccinations protecting against Covid-19.
NHS England say 200 community pharmacies are due to come online over the next fortnight - as more vaccine supplies come on stream by the end of the month.
It has not been confirmed when or if any sites will go live in the Black Country or Staffordshire in the next few weeks - with the nearest pilot pharmacy vaccine site in Telford.
A spokesman for the Black Country and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Groups said: “The NHS is delivering the vaccination from as many sites possible across the Black Country and West Birmingham, from Thursday we have 24 primary care networks delivering vaccination services and we have a hospital hub at each of our acute trusts.
“Our PCN sites are also vaccinating those in care homes.
“Vaccination centres treating large numbers of patients will subsequently stand up in the coming weeks when further supplies of the vaccine become available, as well as community pharmacies - we will confirm these sites when we are able to do so.”