The covid vaccination programme got underway this morning, with up to 300 residents expected to receive their first dose today. GPs, nurses, pharmacists and other primary care staff across Surrey have been working closely with local authorities, community care provers and a range of other organisations to ensure the smooth delivery of the vaccination programme.
Dr Ben Spencer MP and Council Leader Nick Prescot visited Chertsey Hall, where the vaccinations will take place, before it opened to residents to thank the staff involved and see first hand the first rate system that has been put in place.
Dr Ben Spencer MP said:
This is a truly wonderful day and I’m delighted to see local residents start to be vaccinated against covid. The organisation required to deliver this programme at short notice and on such scale has been extraordinary, but just like the response we have seen throughout the pandemic, the enthusiasm and dedication of everyone involved to come together to ensure this programme is a success is extraordinary.
I sincerely thank everyone involved, from the doctors, nurses and pharmacists, the IT support, council officers, cleaners, those organising and providing transport for residents, and the local hospice who provided screens for use in the vaccination centre, everyone who has played a role in ensuring we can today begin to deliver this vaccine and offer hope to residents in Runnymede and Weybridge that we are getting through this pandemic together.
Cllr Nick Prescot said:
I am delighted Runnymede Borough Council has been able to support the fantastic work of the NHS in delivering this vaccine programme. Through working together we can ensure it is offered to all who need it in the coming months.
The vaccinations are taking place at Chertsey Hall where robust covid secure systems are in place. The first vaccines are being offered to those over 80. The NHS will contact directly all those who are to be offered the vaccine in this first phase, you do not need to contact your GP.
The start of the vaccination programme is a ray of hope in what has been a very difficult year for most, however it will still take time before the full vaccination programme can be rolled out. Until then, it is essential that everybody maintains covid secure practices, including social distancing and regular hand washing, and continue to follow the rules to minimise the spread of the disease. Rates in Surrey are still rising and everybody is advised to remain cautious throughout the Christmas period and beyond.