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People across Morecambe Bay receive COVID vaccine 

12th January 2021

The COVID vaccination programme in Morecambe Bay is moving at pace since the initial go-live of Primary Care Network (PCN) designated sites on 14 December 2020. By 11 January 2021, a total of 2,333,764 people had received an NHS vaccination for COVID-19 in England.  Eric Bevan receives a COVID vaccination

Patients have commended the Morecambe Bay vaccine programme including Eric Bevan, 92, from Lancaster who had his COVID-19 vaccine last month. He said: "it was easy and he didn't feel any pain at all." Eric has found it hard not seeing his daughter often but understands why. He said this vaccine "brings real hope" and wanted to thank all NHS staff.       

GP practices across the Bay are collaborating to vaccinate people at a number of venues with more PCNs coming on board by the end of the week. The Morecambe Bay vaccine programme is working towards vaccinating all care home residents with the vaccine by the end of the month.    

Local GP Dr David Wrigley said: “GPs around Morecambe Bay are working tirelessly to implement the vaccination programme. Vaccinating so many people across Morecambe Bay in such a short period of time is a fantastic achievement and shows once again how services in our area can adapt quickly.”  

Dr Geoff Jolliffe, GP and Clinical Chair for Morecambe Bay Clinical Commissioning Group, added: “This is an incredible achievement especially given that this has been delivered under very challenging circumstances and alongside the usual core and routine work plus the additional pressures of COVID-19. Thank you to all of our PCNs and our partners for their considerable and continuing efforts in this prolonged challenging time.”  

Last week, UHMBT became one of six trusts in the country to start using the new Oxford AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine with Hilary Birch, a patient flow controller from the Royal Lancaster Infirmary receiving the first vaccine.   

Hilary, 58, who was born in Barrow, lives in Kendal and has worked at the RLI since 1993, said: “It’s brilliant news that the Oxford vaccine is now being given out. It’s going to make such a difference to everyone. I can’t believe I’m the first one at our Trust to have had it – I'm very fortunate!”      

Sue Smith, Deputy Chief Executive and Executive Chief Nurse at UHMBT, said: “The Trust being chosen as one of six organisations to deliver the new Oxford AstraZeneca vaccination is a positive step forward for the Morecambe Bay vaccination programme. The programme is a fantastic example of the partners working together for the good of the people of Morecambe Bay – a huge thank you from our leadership team to our colleagues at the Trust and our Primary Care Network colleagues who are all doing a sterling job.”     

The Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine was rolled out to General Practice-led services in Lancashire and South Cumbria on Thursday 8 January 2021, making it easier to protect care home residents and other vulnerable people against COVID-19.     

The vaccine has been trialled at selected hospitals for surveillance purposes before being sent out to community-based local vaccination services. Royal Lancaster Infirmary was an early active vaccination centre, representing the North West.   

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 the housebound.   

In Lancashire and South Cumbria, five new sites are opening in the community this week in the new phase of the vaccination programme, the largest in NHS history. This is on top of the 27 that were already open and vaccinating. There are also seven Hospital Hub sites at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, Burnley Teaching Hospital, Furness General Hospital, Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital, Royal Lancaster Infirmary, Royal Preston Hospital and Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust (Sceptre Point).      

The first of a number of larger-scale vaccination centres planned for the area will be among many more sites coming online over the next few weeks.   

Those eligible to receive the vaccine will receive an invitation to book their appointment. For most people, this will be a letter, either from their GP or the NHS. This letter will include all the information people will need to book appointments, including their NHS number. Residents are asked not to contact the NHS to get an appointment until they have received this letter.     

Information on the COVID-19 vaccines is available on the NHS.UK website.