The NHS in North West London has begun delivering the Covid-19 vaccine to local residents, as the roll out of the biggest vaccination programme in NHS history gains further momentum.
The first five North West London sites to deliver the vaccine opened in four North West London boroughs, with more being opened up over the coming days and weeks.
The BBC were there to capture the launch at the first site to go live in Harrow at The Hive, where 350 patients received their vaccination.
Patients were invited to come forward, in line with the government’s priority list which states who should receive the vaccination first.
Kewal Jutla from Harrow was one of the first to have his jab, he said: “I am so pleased to get my jab. It’s such a relief”.
Doctor Meena Thakur, Clinical Director for the Harrow East Primary Care Network, has been leading the set-up at The Hive, she said: “What a phenomenal day, we’ve vaccinated hundreds of patients, and they’ve all been so enthusiastic to have their jabs, it’s so inspirational.”
Doctor Genevieve Small, local GP and Chair of Harrow Clinical Commissioning Group is one of the team vaccinating residents. She said: “This was a momentous day and I wish I could have bottled the pure joy and thanks our team received from patients as they received their vaccinations. I was also asked by many patients if I had had my vaccination.
I had my vaccination yesterday as well and felt very lucky to have been offered it as I was vaccinating others.”
Although roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine has begun, for now it is only being offered to people who are most at risk before being offered more widely. This includes:
· Some people aged 80 and over who already have a hospital appointment in the next few weeks
· people who work in care homes
· health care workers at high risk.
If you fit the criteria for the priority list, you will be contacted shortly and informed about when and where to go. Please do not call or arrive at your local GP practice unannounced expecting to receive it. You will be contacted when it’s your turn.
In the meantime, it is vitally important that we all continue to follow the national public health guidance: wash your hands regularly, wear a face covering in enclosed spaces and maintain safe social distancing.
Covid-19 is still very prevalent in the local community and is highly infectious. The risk of catching it and spreading it is the same as ever for people who have not been vaccinated.
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