the former radio station for Dorset County Hospital

Thank you to everyone working tirelessly on COVID-19 vaccine roll out in Dorset

A message of thanks has been issued to the Dorset team working tirelessly to vaccinate the most vulnerable.

The NHS in Dorset is working incredibly hard to deliver the COVID-19 vaccination to the most vulnerable local people, at the same time as providing care to all those who need it and whilst coping with the rising number of COVID-19 cases and winter pressures.

Praise has been issued to everyone working to support the programme – from volunteers to vaccinators and many others – as well as the wider public for their continued support and understanding.

This immense local effort across the Dorset health and care system has led to the rapid roll out of the programme across our communities.

In just a matter of a few weeks, GP-led local vaccination services have been launched across all 18 primary care networks, hospital hubs, and roving vaccination teams for care homes and the housebound. Dorset is also among the first areas in the country to have community pharmacies offer the vaccine.

The large vaccination centre at the Bournemouth International Centre (BIC) has also opened its doors.

The thank you message comes as nationally published figures show that as of 17th January, 68,693 people in Dorset have taken up the offer of a vaccine.

Vaccine delivery continues at pace, with close to two thirds (nearly 65 per cent) of over 80s, and 68 per cent of elderly people’s care homes having been vaccinated.

We are vaccinating people according to national guidance.  Pending vaccine supply, very good progress is being made to meet the target of vaccinating the first four priority groups by the middle of February.

We understand that people in the priority groups are keen to receive their vaccine. We’d like to reassure people that the NHS will be in touch with you.

Thank you for being patient and waiting for the NHS to contact you – we will get to you as quickly as possible.

Dr Karen Kirkham, local Dorset GP, is the Clinical lead for the Dorset COVID-19 vaccination programme, and Assistant Clinical Director of Dorset CCG. As well as being the clinical lead for the vaccination programme in Dorset, Dr Karen Kirkham has also been vaccinating local people on the frontline.

She said: “The vaccination programme in Dorset is off to a strong start. We have made incredible progress in a very short space of time since the vaccination – which is safe and effective – first became available. We’d like to thank the entire Dorset team who have done an incredible job to deliver what is the largest vaccination programme in our history.

“This has been an incredible effort by everyone involved. It is thanks to the tireless work of the whole team across Dorset, and the support of local people.

“Our ambition, if supplies allow, is to have offered vaccines to the most vulnerable by the middle of February.

“The roll out is good news, but we cannot afford to be complacent. The large increase in cases hospitals are seeing and the emergence of a new variant of the virus also shows that we cannot let our guard down now, and even those who have received a vaccine still need to follow all the same guidance as everyone else to help protect others.

The public have an important part to play to help us do all of this, so we are asking:

  • please continue to follow all the guidance to control the virus and save lives – that means staying at home as much as possible and following the ‘hands, face, space’ guidance when you are out;
  • Don’t contact the NHS to seek a vaccine, we will contact you;
  • When we do contact you, please attend your booked appointments.

Thank you for your continued support for the vaccination programme and your local NHS.

We understand that there is great interest in the programme.

For this reason, we have created a central source of information about the programme, including frequently asked questions, news updates, and a list of vaccination sites:  https://www.dorsetccg.nhs.uk/vaccinations/

Picture: Dr Karen Kirkham, Clinical lead for the Dorset COVID-19 vaccination programme and Assistant Clinical Director of Dorset CCG

Dr Karen Kirkham