Just one year ago a local retired care home worker got the first COVID-19 vaccine in the area at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge. Since then, nearly 1.6 million COVID-19 doses have been delivered locally through the combined efforts of community pharmacy teams, GP practices, NHS trusts and the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) as well as an amazing pool of volunteers, community groups, local authority and Fire Service staff all working together to offer local communities the protection they need.
From reception teams and safety marshals to administrators and clinicians providing oversight, every single person working at vaccination sites in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough has played an absolutely vital role in the vaccination programme over the past year. Partners across the system are now working together to offer thousands of booster vaccinations every week, on top of the evergreen offer of first and second doses for those people who have yet to come forward to get their vaccine.
Dr Gary Howsam, Clinical Chair at the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group, said:
“As we mark the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 vaccination programme, I want to take a moment to say a massive and heartfelt thank you to every single person who has been a part of this phenomenal effort to date. There is no doubt in my mind that your work has helped save lives.
“We continue to offer COVID-19 vaccinations to those eligible. If you’re eligible to have your booster, please make sure you book when you’re invited to as the booster will give you longer-lasting protection. If you haven’t yet had your first or second dose, remember that it’s never too late – you can still have your vaccine and get protection from COVID-19.”
Dr Anthony Gunstone is a GP at Staploe Medical Practice, who have been part of the COVID-19 vaccination programme from the start together with other GP practices in Ely. Dr Gunstone commented:
“I am so proud of the contributions my team have made to the COVID-19 vaccination programme over the past year, together with colleagues at practices across Ely. We have now delivered over 100,000 vaccinations at our vaccination clinics in Ely, and we are still offering more patients the life-saving vaccine every week.
“We couldn’t have done this without the fantastic efforts of both our staff and our amazing volunteers, so I’d like to give my thanks to everyone who has been involved in the vaccination programme in Ely. Your work has saved lives.”
Dr David Vickers, medical director for Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust which runs the large-scale vaccination centres across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough added:
“Since our first vaccination centre opened in January 2021, our amazing staff and volunteers have delivered well over 1 million doses of the vaccine in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and Norfolk and Waveney, protecting thousands of people every day and giving them hope for a brighter future. It’s simply inspirational and my heartfelt thanks go to each of them.
“We really need more staff and volunteers to work in our Centres to deliver even more protection to our communities, so please do get in touch if you’d like to be part of the biggest vaccination programme in NHS history.”
People across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough can visit www.thevaccinators.co.uk to find a walk-in COVID-19 vaccination venue near them, or book appointments through the National Booking Service via www.nhs.uk/covidvaccine or by calling 119.
Booster appointments for eligible patients can be pre-booked once at least 61 days (2 months) have passed since the patient’s second dose, with appointments being offered from 91 days (three months) after the second dose onwards. Some walk-in clinics in the area also offer booster vaccinations on a walk-in basis, to those patients who are eligible and who had their second dose at least 182 days ago.
At this moment in time boosters are still only available to those aged 40+ or who are clinically vulnerable.