Update issued by North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group and Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Group.
More care home residents and vulnerable people in Kirklees will be offered protection against Covid-19, as the new Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine starts to be rolled out to GP-centres.
Local GPs are working together to provide vaccinations to as many care home residents and patients aged 80 as possible. In Kirklees, all 9 primary care networks are now providing vaccinations.
The Oxford vaccine does not need to be stored at ultra-low temperatures and is much easier to move so is easier to use in care homes and will mean GPs will soon be able to start vaccinating housebound patients.
The local NHS is working to expand the rollout as quickly as supplies become available. In the coming weeks, the first community pharmacies will be starting to offer vaccinations and four large vaccination centres are being set up across West Yorkshire, including the John Smith’s Stadium in Huddersfield.
All services will continue to be appointment only and people will be invited for vaccinations.
Vaccinations are being offered to those at greatest risk from Covid-19 first, in line with the recommendations from the Joint Committee for Vaccinations & Immunisations (JCVI).
At the moment, GPs are offering vaccinations to people aged 80 and over and care home residents and will then move to other age groups in descending order.
Practices are busy contacting eligible patients to make appointments for their first vaccination as supplies are made available to them but it is likely take several weeks to cover everyone in these first groups.
Steve Brennan, lead for the Kirklees vaccination programme said: “It is great news that we will be able to protect more vulnerable people. We are working with partners in Kirklees to make sure people can get their first vaccination as quickly and easily as possible and are ready to expand the rollout as fast as supplies become available.
“GPs, nurses, pharmacists and countless other staff, partners and volunteers are working around the clock to provide vaccinations. We know people are eager get protected and may be concerned if they are in one of the priority cohorts and have not been contacted yet. However, we would like to reassure them that they will be contacted over the next few weeks.
“Services are extremely busy at the moment and we would ask people to help the NHS at this very difficult time by not contacting their local GP or other NHS services about getting a vaccination. People will not be able to book an appointment until they have been invited to do so, so please be patient and we will contact you as soon as it is your turn.”