Vaccinations against Covid-19 began in Surrey today, Tuesday 8 December, at the Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust in Guildford - the culmination of around the clock preparations from the local NHS and partners to roll out the biggest immunisation programme in history.
Graham Allen, General Manager of Worplesdon View Care Home, was the first person to receive a vaccination at the hospital, administered by Royal Surrey Matron, Laura Treacy.
Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust is one of the first 50 hospital hubs to receive the vaccine and is initially immunising care home workers, staff who are at risk, and people over the age of 80. The first over 80s to receive the life-saving jab are Royal Surrey outpatients, contacted in advance of their scheduled appointments. The Trust is also working with care home providers to book their staff into vaccination clinics.
Staff at Royal Surrey have been working get the new vaccination area ready, repurposing existing areas into a facility that can accommodate large numbers of vaccinations per week and preparing a new entrance in order to minimise footfall in the hospital.
Dr Marianne Illsley, Medical Director, Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are delighted to be among the first in England to administer these vaccines. Our staff have worked tirelessly to look after our local community through this pandemic, so to be at the forefront of this vaccination programme means a huge amount to us all. We are proud to play a part in shaping a more positive future and protecting the most vulnerable in society.”
Ruth Hutchinson, Director of Public Health for Surrey: "This is momentous news for Surrey and means that from today we'll be able to start protecting the most vulnerable members of our community from Covid-19. But it's important for people to remember that Surrey's infection rates tell us that we have continued community spread of the virus. So, for now, we must all continue to follow the guidelines and play our part to keep Surrey safe."
The public also have an important part to play to help the NHS expand this programme and to deliver it effectively:
- Please don’t contact the NHS to seek a vaccine, we will contact you;
- When we do contact you, please attend your booked appointments;
- And please continue to follow all the guidance to control the virus and save lives.
GP and Senior Responsible Officer for Surrey Heartlands, Dr Claire Fuller says: “This is a historic moment for the NHS and the culmination of weeks of hard work on behalf of staff and partners across Surrey. I would like say a big thank you to everyone involved in getting this vital programme up and running for local residents and I know the hard work will continue as the programme expands over the coming days, weeks and months.”