A FIRST vaccine dose has been offered to all the top priority groups in Hampshire – and will now move on to those aged 65 to 69.
In all, more than 400,000 doses have been administered since the programme started in the second half of December across the county and the Isle of Wight.
Dr Nigel Watson, who has led the vaccination roll-out, said: “From a standing start in December, this is an outstanding achievement. Thanks to the dedication and skill of those on the ground, and the positive response of the public, we have been able to do something really special.
“We have been determined to meet the target of vaccinating the first four priority groups by the middle of February, and so it is fantastic to know that we reached the milestone.”
The vaccinations have been given at a network of 67 sites across Hampshire to all over-70s, older adult care home residents and staff, those clinically extremely vulnerable and frontline health and social care staff.
Medical chiefs have said it is not too late for those aged 70 or over who do not believe they have been invited for a vaccination to book one via www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or by calling 119, free of charge.
“Our next task is to move on to those aged 65-69, and those who have significant health problems who would be at greater risk if they became infected with the virus – another huge task,” Dr Watson added.
“It really is great news that we are making such good progress, and so I hope people will be reassured that will get to them as soon as we can.
“For those in the 65-69 age group, or those with a significant health problem, please don’t contact your surgery – you will be hearing from us before very long.
“And I would remind everyone – whether you have had a vaccine dose or not – that we still all need to do the basics to keep ourselves, and everyone else, safe. Please don’t lower your guard, keeping washing your hands, keep covering your face, keep giving people space.”
In Dorset 201,211 doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been given amid BCP Council support to get people to appointments safely.
Public Health Dorset has urged people not to car share with others outside their household or support bubble and contact the council’s Covid-19 helpline for advice and information about local public transport, taxi services and community transport.
Dorset Council and BCP Council are offering support to those eligible towards the costs of a taxi journey to vaccination appointments, while a roving service co-ordinated with GPs is underway for those who are housebound.
To access the help visit https://togetherwecan.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/services/carepackageapplication/ or contact the community response helpline on 0300 1237052
BCP cabinet member for Covid-19 resilience and public health, Cllr Nicola Greene, said: “Our team are on-hand to offer help and advice so please get in touch if you’re worried about travel – and remember COVID-19 remains a very real threat in our community, so don’t take any risks.”