It was a pleasure last Friday to visit two Plymouth Covid 19 vaccination centres to review progress to date. The major one is at Home Park where they could now administer 30,000 per week – very impressive set up. Whilst there I learned that quietly but efficiently Derriford Hospital has become one of the best performing vaccination hubs in the country. Plymouth is smashing it!
Closer to home, I also visited the vaccination centre at Glenside Surgery in Plympton run by Beacon Medical Group. Tasked to do something they have never done before, it was wonderful to see the efficient and smooth process they have put in place. They have now completed every patient in the 80 plus bracket (with the exception of some of the housebound which obviously takes longer but on which they are making good progress.)
I would like to congratulate Dr Andrew Mercer and his team at Beacon for this remarkable success, from which all of us in Plympton and Ivybridge will benefit. Please do not ring the practice to see when you are going to be called. Nobody will be missed, and they have an efficient system in place.
I am aware that the Mewstone Medical Group in the Plymstock area is also carrying out a similarly impressive programme from the Staddy Fuction Centre. This all means that here in South West Devon constituency we are being well served.
A massive thank you to the volunteers (stewards and marshals) who are vital in helping to make this roll out a success locally. If you have some spare time and wish to volunteer at the Plympton Centre, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and they will be pleased to hear from you. Although those who volunteer will get an early jab, the motive for most is simply to serve their community in this national crisis.
And what a national performance! As of Sunday night, a total of 9,296,367 people vaccinated, nearly 600,000 on that day alone! Well done to Kate Bingham and her Vaccine Task Force for those crucial early decisions to enter binding contracts with the large pharmaceuticals last year which other countries did not do. Well done to Sir Simon Stevens, CEO of the NHS, and his team for putting in place, with help from the Army, such an efficient national rollout system.
We will it seems hit the challenging target of all 4 of the most vulnerable groups by 15th February 2021 and then move on to the over 60’s and other vulnerable groups. Provided we can get enough vaccine, our systems can go even faster, even allowing for the second jabs. I for one will be making sure I get vaccinated as soon as I get the invitation.
By then we will have a roadmap as to how we will emerge from lockdown. Spring is coming.