Biggleswade Hospital and The Weatherley Centre celebrate vaccination success
For the first time, last weekend, all over 18s across Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes were offered the COVID-19 vaccination.
Biggleswade is celebrating vaccination success as the race to arm the community against coronavirus continues.
As of last Friday (June 18), all adults over the age of 18 have been able to book an appointment for an injection, with a healthy take-up at Biggleswade Hospital.
NHS Bedfordshire Luton and Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group invited all adults aged 18 and over to have their lifesaving COVID-19 jab, which was delivered through a series of walk-in clinics and booked appointments.
A spokesperson for the NHS BLMK CCG, said: “It has been a tremendous team effort. From the clinicians who have worked in general practice and undertaken extra shifts in the vaccination centres and the retired GPs who have returned to play their part in this national effort to the volunteers who have been outside in all weathers supporting people and the estate teams who have given their time and resources so graciously, we could not be more grateful.
“As the next stage of our programme gets underway, bringing the vaccine closer to communities, we are urging all adults over 18 to play their part, protect their communities and get the vaccine. By 23 June we had dispensed 20,812 vaccinations at Biggleswade with 1,023 since the programme opened up those aged 18 years and over.”
Meanwhile, at The Weatherley Centre, which offers the AstraZeneca jab, Jardines Pharmacy is helping the NHS to speed up the vaccination process for the over 40s.
The team has provided 39,298 vaccinations since opening in January and has contributed to 12 per cent of all the vaccinations in Central Bedfordshire. It now has an important message for patients.
Asia Patel, site lead at the Weatherley Centre COVID vaccination site, said: "We would like to encourage people who have appointments in July to cancel their appointments and rebook at the 8 weeks gap (this week and next week) rather than their existing appointment which is for 12 weeks between doses. The NHS is pushing this as it will speed up the process of easing finally lockdown, and everyone can help by being vaccinated as close to 8 weeks’ gap as possible.
"The vaccinators and volunteers have done an incredible job at running an efficient and professional service, and the numbers really reflect this. We still have a lot of availability for people to book, or rebook appointments for the AstraZeneca vaccine with us, so if you want to join us, we have the capacity! We would also like to reassure any needle phobic, or particularly nervous patients who have been putting off their vaccinations up to now, and let them know that we have a special, much less clinical set up for them. We can help manage your fear, and can take as long as you need to be vaccinated!
"None of this would have been possible without the team at the Weatherley Centre; Helen Ashton has been an incredible help, going above and beyond every day to support us and our goal to vaccinate as many local people as possible."
Walk-in jabs continue at Biggleswade Hospital on June 25, 26 and 27 between 8am and 6pm. To keep up to date with the latest drop-ins go to www.blmkccg.nhs.uk/drop-in