First patients in the Black Country and West Birmingham get COVID-19 Vaccine from local GPs

Vaccination Services across the Black Country and West Birmingham went live yesterday, 14th December 2020 with one of the first COVID-19 vaccines in the country being administered at Feldon Lane Medical Practice, Halesowen.

Vaccination services which are primary care based are led by GPs and will offer the vaccine to patients within their Primary Care Networks (PCN) group from one nominated practice site.

Patients aged 80 and above who are mobile will be the first to receive the jab at one of the PCN sites as advised by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) who decide the order in which people will receive the vaccine.

GPs and other primary care staff contacted eligible patients over the weekend to book them in to vaccination clinics and will continue to do so as the week goes on.

Gerry and Maureen Hughes were first in line for the vaccination at Feldon Lane yesterday, Aged 81 and 84, the couple have been married for over 60 years and have two daughters and three grandchildren, the were really positive about the vaccine.

Maureen said: “It means an awful lot to be the first people to be vaccinated. I can’t thank people enough who have made the vaccine possible. When you’ve been isolated for months, it’s great to see the product at the end – we’re just really excited.”

Gerry said: “People don’t realise what goes on behind the scenes – what they’ve achieved bringing the vaccine to a surgery like this is fantastic – they’ve done a great job.”

They were both followed by Stanley Davies aged 91 from Halesowen who said, “Having the vaccine will mean I can relax and look forward to the next vaccine dose. I live on my own and whilst I still get about, this year has been more difficult. I’d encourage others to get the vaccine so we can all get back to normal.”

Dr Gillian Love, Senior GP Partner at Feldon Lane Medical Practice and Clinical Director for Halesowen PCN, said “The vaccine is a fantastic opportunity to restore a degree of normality, for families and friends to reconnect and for the country to get back on its feet.

“I am immensely proud to work for the NHS and today demonstrates the incredible team work that primary care represents.

“I would encourage anyone offered the COVID-19 vaccine to step forward when asked to do so, this is our opportunity to protect ourselves and each other.”

Dr Mohit Mandiratta, GP Partner at Feldon Lane Medical Practice, said “I like the rest of the world, looked on as the first vaccine was delivered in Coventry last week, and today, a week later was proud to be arriving at work ready to start vaccinating our first patients here in Halesowen.

“It’s been such a difficult time for everybody over the last 9 months and it’s great that we have a light in sight at the end of the tunnel.

“But for now it is important people continue to follow the guidelines because we’re not out of the woods yet. So it’s important that over Christmas people follow the national guidelines and continue to protect themselves and each other as much as possible.”

The full list of PCN sites to start administering the vaccine this week are as follows:
• Northway Medical Centre (Sedgley, Coseley,Gornal PCN) Dudley
• Feldon Lane Medical Practice (Halesowen PCN) Dudley
• Wood Road Surgery (Unity West PCN) Wolverhampton
• Enki Medical (Modality) Sandwell & West Birmingham
• Whiteheath Medical Centre (Your Health Partnership PCN) Sandwell & West Birmingham

We will continue to stand up more vaccination services over the coming weeks to ensure that all our communities have access to the COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccination centres treating large numbers of patients will subsequently stand up when further supplies of the vaccine become available, we will confirm these sites when we are able to do so.

The NHS will be in touch with people as and when they become eligible for the vaccine, patients do not need to contact their practice.

In the meantime it’s incredibly important that people continue to do everything they can to stop the spread of the virus. This means continuing to follow the Hands, Face, Space guidance and adhering to the Tier 3 restrictions which are currently in place.