THE coronavirus vaccine is set to be given to care home residents and staff in Somerset.
Teams are preparing for the vaccinations between Christmas and New Year.
And two more GP-led community sites will start vaccinating those ages over 80 and health care staff.
Dave Partlow, Somerset County Council’s (SCC) strategic manager for adult social care, said they “cannot wait” to start the vaccinations.
“We are starting with larger homes that care for people with dementia because higher rates of COVID-19 can occur in these homes where it is more difficult to contain,” he said.
“However, I want to be really clear with our message to all other care homes – this is just the start of our vaccination programme and we will come to you as soon as possible.”
Andy Hero, joint senior responsible officer for the Somerset Covid-19 vaccination programme, said he was “delighted” the vaccines were being rolled out in care homes.
He said care home residents and staff have been identified as a priority group.
“My thanks go to everyone who has made this possible,” he added.
“Teams of people from GP surgeries, Somerset County Council, Somerset CCG, Somerset NHS Foundation Trust and Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust have worked through the exceptionally complex logistics to deliver the long-awaited vaccine to the people of Somerset and it is very fulfilling to see it delivered to local people.”
The two GP-led sites for those over 80 and who work in health and care will be at North Petherton Rugby Club in Bridgwater and the Shape Centre Mendip District Council offices in Shepton Mallet.
Dr Amelia Randle, GP at Park Medical Practice and vaccination lead for the Central Mendip primary care network, said: “We are delighted to be starting the vaccination programme for our most vulnerable patients.
“It has been a huge amount of work, in a short space of time, but we have seen fantastic team work from all our colleagues from neighbouring GP practices and, together, we have been able to set up the next local vaccination services.
“It has been a very emotional time, not only for the first patients to be invited to the clinic, but for all the health and care teams involved in the planning of these events.
“We know that lots of people are eager to find out when they may be vaccinated, or have questions about the vaccination programme, but, please don’t contact your local GP surgery – we will contact you when the time is right and we will be able to answer all of your questions when you come for your appointment.”