Posted: 04.01.21 at 12:07 by The Editor
TWO Crewe-based GP practices are to start Covid-19 vaccinations within the next fortnight.
Health chiefs are not naming the practices until they start providing jabs, but say their inclusion is part of a "significant expansion" in the roll-out of the coronavirus vaccine across Cheshire.
In the county there will be sixteen new GP-led Covid-19 vaccination services starting up as the UK Government seeks to execute the largest vaccination programme in history.
Those people at highest risk will be invited in for jabs with the exact go-live dates subject to national supply and other key operational considerations.
Single GP practices in Nantwich, Congleton, Alsager and Middlewich have also been chosen in Cheshire East, while in Crewe there will be two.
In Cheshire West there will be three GP practices in Chester.
The new sites will complement existing GP-led vaccination sites in Winsford and Frodsham which went live before Christmas.
A small number of pharmacy-led sites have also been identified that could support GP-led services where required to ensure that residents are vaccinated as quickly as possible.
The vaccine roll-out in Cheshire was launched at the Countess of Chester Hospital on December 8 and since December 28 vaccinations have been started at Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, of which Crewe's Leighton Hospital is part of.
They are due to start at East Cheshire NHS Trust, which runs Macclesfield General Hospital and Congleton War Memorial Hospital, this Wednesday (January 6).
Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group (Cheshire CCG) says that the approval of the "more versatile" Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine means the programme can be expanded to ensure the majority of care home staff and residents are protected in the coming weeks.
NHS organisations have also been asked to start vaccinating frontline health and care workers such as nurses, doctors and social workers.
Health chiefs are stressing that to help the NHS deliver the vaccination programme effectively people should know that
• People in priority groups will be contacted when it is their turn - do not not contact the NHS to seek a vaccine before then.
• When you are invited for a vaccine, act on your invite and make sure you attend appointments.
• Continue to wear a face covering and abide by social distancing and hand hygiene guidance
Cheshire GP Dr Chris Ritchieson, the medical director at Cheshire West Integrated Care Partnership, said: “We understand that people are anxious to receive a Covid-19 vaccine as soon as possible.
"However, please don’t contact your GP practice, local hospital or council to seek a vaccine appointment – appointments cannot be made in this way.
“If you’re eligible for a vaccine, but are yet to be contacted, please remain patient. You will not be missed.”
GP Dr Paddy Kearns, Medical Director at Cheshire East Integrated Care Partnership, said: “This is just the beginning of the largest vaccination programme the country has ever seen and we will make sure that the people who need it most - and those that care for them - are able to access the vaccine in a safe way with the least delay.”