NHS and social care staff on the Island have started to receive their COVID-19 vaccine as the Isle of Wight NHS Trust launches its biggest ever staff vaccination programme via a newly opened vaccination hub at St Mary’s Hospital.
Local 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 17:00 yesterday (Thursday) will operate 7 days a week in order to vaccinate as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.
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 (weekdays), by appointment, with the aim of getting as many NHS and health and social care workers vaccinated as soon as possible over the next 3 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 last night included Anna Razvi (Deputy Sister on the Medical Assessment Unit); Aurangzeb Khan (Acute Medicine Doctor); Elizabeth Gangoso (Staff Nurse on MAU) and John Nelson (General Porter).
Maggie Oldham, Chief Executive of the Isle of Wight NHS Trust, 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.”
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Isle of Wight Council leader, Dave Stewart, has said:
“This is truly fantastic news. The launch of the COVID-19 vaccination hub at St Mary’s Hospital, Newport, will, I’m sure, prove to be a pivotal moment in the battle against the pandemic.
“Coronavirus is the greatest health challenge in NHS history, taking loved ones from us and disrupting every part of our lives. Our hospital has cared for many seriously ill COVID-19 patients and has seen beds fill up again in recent weeks.
“Our hard-working NHS and health and social care staff are proud to be leading the charge against this devastating virus and the roll-out of this vaccine will give them the protection they so desperately need and deserve.
“Vaccinations provide hope and are a part of the way out of this pandemic. Unfortunately it will still take time to deliver so we must continue to protect ourselves from the virus which is now much more contagious and transmissible.
“We must all redouble our efforts and follow the rules to stop the spread of COVID-19 and to protect ourselves and others. We should keep in mind the good news that the vaccine will benefit everyone in due course.”