GP practices in North Yorkshire have today begun administering the first doses of a Covid-19 vaccine to patients over the age of 80.
Vaccinations are being delivered according to priority groups identified by the Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
The Pfizer/BioNTech COVID vaccine was approved for use following extensive clinical trials.
Dr Charles Parker, the clinical chair of NHS North Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “This is a significant milestone in the vaccination programme, but just the start of a process that will likely take several months.
“It’s been a successful first day, with patients commenting on how well organised clinics have been.
“This is very nice to hear, but shouldn’t be a surprise to people – GP practices are experts in the administration of vaccines, with thousands of patients given the flu jab every year.”
Amanda Bloor, NHS North Yorkshire CCG accountable officer and chair of the North Yorkshire and York group of NHS and local government chief executives, urged patients to wait until they were notified before seeking an appointment for the vacvine.
“We understand patients’ enthusiasm to have the COVID vaccine, but it’s important those at most risk from coronavirus are vaccinated first.
“Please do not contact your local GP Practice or local hospital to ask for an appointment for a vaccination and please do not turn up at your surgery or hospital – the NHS will proactively contact individuals as part of the vaccination programme and nobody will miss out.”
The Covid-19 vaccination programme is the largest vaccination programme in the NHS’ 72-year history and it will involve NHS staff from all across the country and in different roles.
This could be GPs, nurses, community pharmacists, paramedics and other healthcare professionals.
Local vaccination services, which are based on primary care network groupings, will be delivering the vaccine from all types of venues, from GP practices and health centres, to sports halls and community venues.
Officials say that ehen it is the right time for you to receive your vaccination, you will receive an invitation to come forward.
This may be via the phone, or through a letter either from your GP or the national booking system.
Patients will need two doses of the vaccine to get the best protection from coronavirus.
The doses must be at least 21 days apart.
NHS North Yorkshire CCG is asking people not to contact their practice for an appointment as patients will not be able to get one until they are contacted.