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In his latest blog, Nimbuscare's clinical lead Prof Mike Holmes, tells how staff have braved freezing weather to deliver a record number of vaccinations this weekend.

15 February 2021

The Vaccination Centre has helped the NHS reach a number of milestones over the last few days.

We know our practices have played a big part in helping the Government meet its target of offering the Covid vaccine to everyone over the age of 70 by 15th February. This is all of the top four priority groups which are determined nationally.

In York we know we have vaccinated well over 90% of our over 70’s and are making excellent progress with priority group – 65-69 year olds.

We had a record vaccination day on Saturday – offering vaccination to almost 2300 people at Askham Bar. I want to personally thank those who came down at the weekend and braved the freezing conditions to get their vaccination.

The NHS now celebrates and passes through the 15 million people vaccinated landmark, which is an amazing achievement. This region alone has vaccinated half a million people and the York Vaccination Centre has done around 65,000.

We are welcoming national TV crews on Monday to mark the occasion, where they will speak to some of the people who have delivered the service on the front line.

I am constantly astounded by the drive and passion of our teams who’ve helped us achieve this success. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; this is a city-wide, cross-sector effort with everyone working together to protect our communities.

We will have all heard of the challenges regarding the distribution and delivery of vaccines but in the week leading to the 15th February we received over 4500 Pfizer vaccines at Askham Bar – these of course have to be used within a few days so our teams rolled their sleeves up got to work. We put a new booking system in place and delivered over 6000 vaccines to York residents in 6 days. A phenomenal effort – whilst every single member of the team did a superb job I want to mention our volunteers and our traffic marshals who braved the harsh conditions to ensure people got to the right place as efficiently as possible to have their vaccines.

Let me be clear though, despite us talking big numbers and statistics, we know that every one of these numbers is a person, and every single person has their own story, their own needs and their own challenges – we will not forget that as we welcome you to the service. It makes it all the more special when we get messages from you. The  comments and messages we receive via email and on social media have really boosted morale;

 

“Exceeded expectations which were already high! “ Gwen

 

“My mum had here vaccinations today on her 70th birthday – thank you to the super-efficient team.” Martin

 

“Thank you so much for everything you guys are doing! I received my first does last week after almost a year of shielding. It was a very surreal and emotional experience and I was in awe of how well organised everything was and how lovely and helpful the team were, even though it was freezing cold. You’re all doing an amazing job. Thank you just isn’t even enough!” Lucy

Now that the 15th February has arrived we move into the next priority groups – 5 and 6. This is by invitation only so we can manage the supplies of the vaccine fairly. You will be contacted by letter or by text. We are finding that Text is the most efficient way to contact you. It is really important that your practice has an up to date mobile number and consent to use it. Practices will be setting up mechanisms for you to update your records with your mobile numbers over the next week or two. Not only will this help now but it will also help in the future. Of course if you don’t have a mobile number do not worry we will continue to use the traditional ways of contacting you and you will definitely not miss out.

 

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