We are pleased to report that we have now delivered over 640,000 vaccinations, including over 566,000 first doses in south west London. Our GPs and their practice teams, supported by local volunteers, NHS staff in our hospitals and large vaccination sites, and pharmacists, continue to do everything they can to vaccinate people as quickly as possible and we are immensely proud of their tireless efforts to reach this milestone so quickly. We would like to thank the London Borough of Merton and the wider Merton community for their ongoing support in our effort to beat COVID-19. The NHS vaccination data for South West London boroughs, parliamentary constituencies and middle layer super output areas continues to be published nationally and can be found on the NHS England website.
Whilst we have made good progress protecting our most vulnerable residents from COVID-19, we recognise there is still more work to be done. We need to encourage everyone who is currently eligible but has yet to receive the vaccine that it’s not too late to get the jab. We are urging those aged 50 and above, care home residents, health and care staff, and people who are clinically vulnerable, to book an appointment for their first dose as soon as possible. To support this work, we have launched a campaign to encourage everyone who is eligible for vaccination but may have been inclined to ‘wait and see’ to get the vaccine by booking their appointment online or by calling 119.
Although national vaccine supplies are reported to be slower in April, we want to reassure people who are now returning for their second dose that there is enough for all second doses of the same vaccine. There is also enough vaccine to protect those in the priority groups. We are still on track to meet the targets of offering the vaccine to everyone in JCVI cohort 1-9 by 15 April and to all adults by the end of July. Therefore, we are urging people to come forward for their second dose of the vaccine when they are contacted or if they have an appointment booked.
It is important that those who have had a vaccination continue to follow the rules. The full impact of the vaccine on transmission of the virus is not yet known therefore it may be possible to spread the virus, putting others at risk. As COVID-19 restrictions are lessened, the Government is launching the “Hands, Face, Space and Fresh Air” campaign to encourage the public to adopt simple health behaviours and work together to keep their distance and control the spread of the virus.
Over the bank holiday and weekend period, the NHS in South West London will be working hard to provide the best possible care to residents. We are providing extra GP services and more evening appointments and on Saturday and Sunday. We’re encouraging people to contact their GP practice using their GPs website to find out about local arrangements, or use the NHS 111 online service for health advice. Remember that 999 should only be called if the situation is life-threatening. COVID-19 vaccinations will continue to take place over the bank holiday weekend as the NHS rolls out the largest vaccination programme in the history of the health service.