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Biggest ever Isle of Wight NHS staff vaccination programme gets underway

John Nelson General Porter ws
Biggest ever Isle of Wight NHS staff vaccination programme gets underway
07 January 2021

NHS and social care staff on the Island have started to receive their coronavirus vaccine as IOW NHS Trust launches its COVID-19 vaccination hub at St Mary’s Hospital.

IOW NHS employees, volunteers, and health and social care workers based on the Island are being offered the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to help protect healthcare services and those who care for others.  

The COVID-19 vaccination hub, which opened its doors at 5pm (Thursday 7 January) will operate 7 days a week. 

A team of vaccinators have been recruited to support the vaccine roll out to over 3,000 Trust staff and will be vaccinating up to 350 people each day, by appointment, with the aim of getting as many NHS and health and social care workers vaccinated as soon as possible over the next three weeks.

Alice Webster, Director of Nursing and Midwifery, said: “In a very short space of time we have set up a vaccination hub which will ensure staff vaccinations are delivered safely and efficiently. I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has worked around the clock to get the hub up and running for the launch of what is the largest vaccination programme we have ever seen.

“Our first supply of vaccines arrived today and we began vaccinating staff immediately.

“Delivering vaccination programmes is not something new to us but there is urgency to get the vaccine to as many people as we can as quickly as possible and I know our staff will be pulling out all the stops to make sure their colleagues are protected from this horrendous disease.

“I am incredibly proud of what we are all achieving together and I have hope that with the roll-out of the vaccine, and people staying at home for us all, we will start to see some light at the end of what is an incredibly difficult time for everyone.”

Some of the first people to be vaccinated, who have been directly supporting people with COVID-19 includes:

  • Anna Razvi, Deputy Sister on the Medical Assessment Unit (MAU)
  • Aurangzeb Khan, Acute Medicine Doctor
  • Elizabeth Gangoso, Staff Nurse on MAU
  • John Nelson, General Porter

Elizabeth who has just had her vaccine said: “I have worked in St. Mary’s Medical Assessment Unit for 19 years. I have been caring for COVID-19 patients who have needed hospital support with their symptoms and I now feel protected by having this vaccine. I believe everyone should have their vaccine to protect themselves and each other.”

John said: “I am very proud to be one of the first team members to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.”

Maggie Oldham, Chief Executive who has been greeting staff at the hub said: “There is great excitement around the Trust today, as we go live with our vaccination programme. I’ve heard lots of positive comments about why this is important to people and what it means to them. I urge everyone to take up the offer of a vaccine, once the opportunity arises, as an important step to protecting ourselves, those we care for and our community.”

The NHS is currently offering the COVID-19 vaccine to people most at risk from coronavirus.

Isle of Wight NHS Trust is among the latest tranche of hospital hubs to begin vaccinating this week, and joins a number of GPs and other hospitals in the region that have already contributed to the vaccination across the country.  

The vaccinations are being administered first to those most at risk, including:

  • people aged 80
  • people who live or work in care homes
  • health care workers

The NHS will let you know when it's your turn to have the vaccine. Please ensure you are registered with a GP in England. It's important not to contact the NHS for a vaccination before then.

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is typically delivered by a simple injection in the shoulder but there is a complex logistical challenge to deliver from the manufacturers to patients. 

It needs to be stored at -70C before being thawed out and can only be moved four times within that cold chain ahead of use.

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