Published — 22 January, 2021

Covid-19 vaccination progress – 22 January 2021


Vaccinations progress.

In York and North Yorkshire as of Monday of this week there had been 52,500 vaccinations delivered to the extremely clinically vulnerable groups and a further 12,000 in hospitals to front line health and care workers. In our area the majority of vaccinations are being delivered at the centre at the Yorkshire Showground.

Around half of care homes had been vaccinated (staff and residents) and the team plan to have the remaining care homes vaccinated within just days.  This is quite phenomenal. Well done to the team.

Seventy per cent of the over-80s in Yorkshire have been vaccinated.

Nationally, nearly 5 million people have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Local hospital admissions.

These are staying broadly stable but there are more people in hospital with COVID-19 in this wave than there were in the first wave last year.  Eleven people were in intensive care. It is clear that our hospital is under serious pressure, but dealing with it well.

In Harrogate 77 per cent of cases are the ‘new variant’ first identified in the UK in December.

Your vaccination appointment.

The previous advice stands: please wait for the NHS to call you forward.  You cannot make an appointment to have a vaccination with your GP.  The NHS has a list which they are working through aiming to have the target groups of over 70s, nursing homes and frontline healthcare staff by mid-February.

You will be contacted often by letter but if you have registered another form of communication with your GP’s surgery then you may be contacted in that way.

Some people may be contacted by the national vaccination service and invited to a national vaccination centre usually in York or Leeds.  This may be a good option for many with time and transport but others should take note of whether the letter offers you the opportunity to wait for an invitation to the local centre.  It should make this clear usually at the top of the second page.

The national centres add even more capacity to the vaccination process; the centre at Askham Bar did 3,279 vaccinations in its first three days of operation.

Getting to your appointment – STOP PRESS NEWS.

There is plenty of parking at the Showground on Wetherby Road.  If you do not drive then the Harrogate Easier Living Project (HELP) may be able to assist and more information is available at http://www.helpharrogate.org.uk/.  Strict eligibility criteria apply.

STOP PRESS – the Harrogate Bus Company has told me today that on Monday they are starting a new service from the bus station to the showground and back.  This service will operate from 8am to 8pm and is free to use.  The bus sets off from the station at 10 to the hour and 20 past the hour.  It leaves the showground at 5 past the hour and 25 to the hour.  It will be an electric bus too so better for the environment as well.  What a brilliant thing for a local company to do for us.  Full details will be available on their website shortly (if not there already) at www.transdevbus.co.uk/harrogate.

Vaccination locations.

A new mass vaccination centre is open at Askham Bar on the outskirts of York and nationally community pharmacies are being used to deliver the vaccine as sufficient supplies become available. 

Assistance.

Volunteers are on hand at vaccination centres to help with parking and administration.  If someone needs accompanying by a friend or relative then this is allowed at the vaccination centre.

Local vaccination and COVID-19 fake news.

The centre isn’t seeing a lot of cancelled appointments.  Some were cancelled in the snow and the centre operates a reserve list of people to vaccinate when appointments are cancelled in order that no vaccine is wasted.  They are not advertising for people to come forward without an appointment.

Vaccines are only administered by clinically trained professionals.  Volunteers only help with administration, car parking and general guidance.

COVID-19 patients are not being brought from London to Harrogate Hospital.

Reports that the number of vaccines supplied to our region are being halved are just wrong. I have checked this with the NHS and the number of vaccines supplied to our region this week is 364,000, next week it will be 300,000 and the week after that 350,000. The story is wrong in terms of numbers and trend.

Political letters and leaflets.

Some respondents said they hadn’t been kept posted by my regular newspapers, leaflets or other communications through their door as often as usual during the pandemic.  This is because while in lockdown the advice from the government is that people should only make essential journeys so that they do not risk spreading the virus.  My team and I have followed the guidance – delivering leaflets is not an essential journey.  Indeed many police forces have given their opinion that political leafleting is not an essential journey.  I think most of us can agree with that.

Many of you will receive my Annual Report in February.  I have paid for this to be delivered by the Royal Mail in accordance with COVID-19 regulations.

Thank you.

I will close by just re-iterating my thanks to all the staff and volunteers who are making the local vaccination programme happen so smoothly.  There will, no doubt, be more twists and turns in the COVID-19 story yet and we must be prepared to respond when and if the national and local situation changes.

But the vaccination is a great success to date and I hope it continues to go smoothly so that we can return to our normal lives as soon as possible.


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