Roll out of the new Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine is underway from today across the Black Country and West Birmingham making it easier to protect care home residents and other vulnerable people against Covid-19.
The vaccine is being delivered by a number of PCN Vaccination Services to patients in local care homes.
Unlike the Pfizer vaccine, the first to be approved, the Oxford vaccine does not need to be stored at ultra-low temperatures and is much easier to move, making it easier to use in care homes and to vaccinate patients who are housebound.
The vaccine will also be available from Vaccination Centres capable of treating large numbers of patients in the coming weeks when further supplies of the vaccine become available, as well as community pharmacies; further details will be confirmed in due course.
Sally Roberts, Chief Nurse, Black Country and West Birmingham CCGs said: “We welcome the arrival of the Oxford vaccine, combined with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, we will now be able to protect many more vulnerable people against the virus and faster.”
“We would like to assure patients that both vaccines are safe, and whatever vaccine they get will be highly effective and protect them from Coronavirus, so please make sure you get it when you are contacted.
“We know lots of people will be eager to get protected but please do not contact the NHS to get an appointment. We will contact you as and when you become eligible for the vaccine.
“In the meantime, please remain vigilant and follow the national lockdown restrictions”
Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member for health and adult social care, said: “The rollout of the vaccine to residents and staff in our care homes is wonderful news and something positive to focus on at the start of the new year.
“The vaccine has already been administered to residents and staff in five care homes in Dudley and will continue to be rolled out in the days ahead.
“We know it has been an incredibly difficult time for many residents, staff, as well as their friends and family and we, hope this is a step in the right direction towards some kind of normality in the future.
“That said, there is still a long way to go and it’s really important we don’t drop our guard. We must all continue to follow the national guidelines and stay at home as much as possible to protect the NHS and save lives.”
For details of the priority list, visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus.
Anyone with symptoms of Covid-19, which include a fever, a new continuous cough or a change to the sense of taste or smell, must immediately self-isolate and book a PCR test by visiting www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or calling 119.