With 35 vaccination sites now live across South West London, the NHS continues to accelerate the biggest immunisation programme in our history. As we run more, visit more care homes and the housebound in their own homes, we are all working hard to offer all over 70s and front-line health and care staff a vaccine by Monday 15 February 2021.
National figures published last week report that our local clinicians have already vaccinated around 140,000 residents, an increase of around 45,000 on those reported in the previous week. You can find full details on the NHS England website where the latest data will be published every Thursday afternoon. We know many local people are keen to see data specific to Kingston, we will share this with you as soon as we can.
Our second large vaccination centre at Selhurst Park, Crystal Palace’s stadium in Croydon began vaccinations on Monday and a further site, Harlequin’s Twickenham Stadium is planned to launch later this week. This will mean that local people who are contacted by the national booking system will have more choice about where they can book an appointment closer to them.
In addition to the GP-led primary care sites, hospital hubs and large vaccination sites, South West London residents will also soon have the option of having their vaccine at one of five community pharmacy sites. The introduction of community pharmacy sites is being managed at a regional level and we hope to share more information shortly.
While it is good news there are more places for people to get their vaccination there is still more to do to support residents and staff who are hesitant about the vaccine so that they feel confident to come forward when they are invited. The NHS is working closely with local authorities and community partners to ensure up to date information is available for local people around how the vaccination works and how safe it is, through conversations with health and care staff, local leaders and the wider community. We are particularly listening to residents who are Black, Asian or from an ethnic minority, those who are older, more vulnerable and those living in deprived areas.
As one of the top priority groups, we are grateful to Kingston Council colleagues for their work to make sure that front-line care workers know they are eligible for the vaccine and how to book their appointment. Your work to help engage front-line staff over the next two weeks will help us meet the Prime Minister’s pledge. As well as the importance of these groups getting protected, we know that health and social care staff are key in reassuring their clients and patients that the vaccines are safe and effective, and this will help encourage others to feel confident to accept the offer of the vaccine when it is their turn.