Thursday 17th December 2020
The NHS is currently offering the COVID-19 vaccine to people most at risk from coronavirus. The order in which people will be offered the vaccine is based on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). The NHS will let you know when it's your turn to have the vaccine. It's important not to contact the NHS for a vaccination before then.
You can read more about the COVID-19 vaccine on the NHS website.
We have seen and heard from some amazing and inspiring people already:
- Maggie and May who had, and gave, the first vaccine in Coventry at 6.30
- P Iillay in Croydon, who has been working at his local care home since 2008
- 86 year old Ted Jones, who got it at Salford Royal where he still volunteers
- in Leeds, who is 80 years old but looking forward to getting back to her job as a ward housekeeper.
They and many more like them were part of a historic day for the NHS, for the country, and for the world too. But Tuesday was just the first of many days.
Over the days since more hospitals across the country have been giving their first vaccines to those who would benefit most, and this will continue to be expanded over the following days and weeks./p>
We will see the first local vaccination services start next week, led by GPs, practice nurses and community pharmacists. As we head towards the end of the year we will increasingly deliver vaccines at much smaller scale, like in care homes, and at much larger scale too, through vaccination centres.
These vaccines are safe and effective for the vast majority of people – they have been tested on tens of thousands of people and assessed by experts. The NHS will also be delivering them safely. All vaccinators will have the training they need to screen for and deal with any rare cases of adverse reactions, and all venues will be equipped to care for people who need it – just like with any other vaccine.
We have said repeatedly that this will be a marathon, not a sprint, and we cannot let down our guard. But today, tomorrow and every day going forward will be another step on the path back to normal life for the country.
Colleagues across the NHS are doing an incredible job to deliver what it is the largest vaccination programme in our history, and we thank them once again for their efforts.
The public have an important part to play to help them do this:
- Please contact the NHS to seek a vaccine, we will contact you
- If we do contact you, please attend your booked appointments
- Continue to follow all the guidance to control the virus and save lives
Selected patient stories/quotes from Day 1
Vic Griffiths - Essex
Vic was a radiographer for 40 years at the Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, where he met his wife Annie in 1963, who was a student nurse. They have two sons who are also both radiographers for the NHS. Vic said: “Covid has obviously curtailed our social life, not only with the retirement fellowship, but also our ballroom dancing, ten pin bowling and golf. My anxiety for my health does get more apparent, but it is quite clear that I have to have the vaccine to get back to living.”
Jean Lyons - Hull
Jean Lyons, 83, is looking forward to seeing her family once again after she became one of the first in Hull to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
Jean said: “I was so pleased when I got the call to come in and get the vaccine. I think it is very important that everyone has it. It’s going to make such a difference to my life. I was so happy when I learned I’d be protected a week after the second injection.”
Margaret Keenan - Coventry
At 6.31am Maggie was given the life-saving jab by Matron May Parsons. Maggie, who turns 91 next week, is a former shop assistant who only retired four years ago. Margaret said: “I feel so privileged to be the first person vaccinated against COVID-19. I can’t thank May and the NHS staff enough who have looked after me tremendously, and my advice to anyone offered the vaccine is to take it – if I can have it at 90 then you can have it too!”
Sylvia Harris – Leeds
Sylvia Harris, 80-yr-old ward housekeeper, was the first of our colleagues to be vaccinated. Sylvia was 26 when she first joined LTHT. Currently shielding at home, she said; “I miss all the people I work with. I’m so glad I’ve got it done.”
Ted Jones - Salford
Dedicated volunteer Ted Jones, 86, was the first person at Salford Royal to receive the Covid-19 vaccination. Ted, who has been volunteering at the hospital for almost 11 years, has been shielding at his home in Swinton, Salford since March. Ted said: “It is a momentous occasion, I feel like a celebrity today. I do feel a bit nervous but I am pleased that we have the vaccination here now. I am just looking forward to being able to get back to normal and come back to work with the rest of the volunteers who I am really missing. I really miss volunteering at this place – volunteering is my life, I love it here.”