Coronavirus vaccination site opens at Hemel Hempstead Hospital
The NHS has announced that a further 18 sites in England will open this week
A coronavirus vaccination site has opened at Hemel Hempstead Hospital today (Monday).
The NHS has announced that a further 18 sites, including two in West Hertfordshire, will open for people to get a Covid jab as the vaccination programme continues to accelerate.
The centre at Hemel Hempstead Hospital opened today (Monday) and Watford Town Hall is due to open on Thursday, February 11.
The vaccination centre is one of the national sites for which people will be invited to book appointments via letters sent to them.
Patient, Margaret Wood, of Harpenden, (pictured) was vaccinated at Hemel Hempstead this morning (Monday).
She said: "Getting vaccinated is like an early birthday present, it was top of my list. Everything ran so smoothly from the moment I walked through the door, and the vaccination itself was quick and painless.
"I should be in Barbados now celebrating my 70th birthday, so instead we're going to crank up the heating and have a cocktail!
"It will be wonderful to be reunited with friends and family. I have three young granddaughters I can't wait to see and there have been two new babies in the family I've yet to meet."
The openings will mean there are more than 100 of the large-scale centres offering the jab, along with more than local 1,000 GP services, almost 200 run by High Street pharmacy services and over 250 hospital hubs.
Dr Nikki Kanani, GP and NHS medical director for primary care, said: “Tremendous efforts have been made by GPs across the country to ensure we vaccinate those people who are in the priority cohorts as determined by the JCVI.
“Since the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine was approved for use and we began administering it on 4 January when Brian Pinker became the first person to receive the jab, my colleagues across the country have been prioritising the vaccination programme roll out which is our biggest chance of beating this virus.
“Please remember the NHS will be in touch with you when it’s your turn to be vaccinated.”
Covid-19 vaccinations are only available by appointment, either following an invitation from a person’s own GP practice or a letter enabling someone to choose to use the national booking system.
As of February 5, the vaccination is being offered to:
> people who live or work in care homes
> people aged 80 and over
> NHS front line staff
> people over 70 and people who are extremely clinically vulnerable .
There is a very challenging national ambition to vaccinate everyone in the first four priority groups by the middle of February. Teams in Hertfordshire and west Essex are working as hard as possible to vaccinate as many people as quickly as possible.
Nearly three-quarters of people aged 70 and over in Hertfordshire and West Essex have received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.