At a time when more than 15 million people have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination in the UK, Solent NHS Trust is proudly recognising the work of colleagues, volunteers and system partners in successfully creating and mobilising 4 large-scale vaccination centres across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
Solent’s first large-scale vaccination centre in Southampton went live to the public on 25th January, with the 3 remaining at Basingstoke Fire Station, St James’s Hospital in Portsmouth and The Riverside Centre in Newport opening their doors to residents on 1st February.
However, it is still unknown exactly how many vaccinations have taken place on the Isle of Wight specifically. The Government are seemingly refusing to allow local authority data to be released. It is known that 397,827 1st and 2nd doses (combined) have been administered across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight jointly, as of 11th February.
Ann Dyer, 58, from Seaview, received her first vaccination at the Riverside Centre alongside her daughter, Lindsay Rivers, 36, who also lives in Seaview. Ann is a carer for relatives and a childminder while Lindsay is a health care worker.
“I’m glad that I’ve had it, as you just need to eliminate what’s going around, you need to be safe. For me personally, having the vaccine is the right thing to do. “I would like to be able to take my children out to fun places and take them on holiday. It will just be nice to get back to normal, see friends and family. I’ve found the process amazing. It’s really quick, everyone’s really friendly and helpful.”
“I’m really pleased I’ve been vaccinated. I would say to people just do it, we’ve all got to do it, we’ve all got a responsibility to have it done it. Once the family’s all vaccinated it will give us some more freedom. I’m hoping we can go on our holiday to Switzerland once we’re out of this. I think the setup at the Riverside Centre is brilliant, I felt safe, with really supportive staff.”
David Noyes, Chief Operating Officer at Solent NHS Trust, said:
“We are really proud to be playing a key role in the NHS’s biggest ever vaccination programme. It has been fantastic to see the positive reactions of all the people we’ve been vaccinating across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight as they receive their first doses.
“We are incredibly thankful to our partners who have worked with us to ensure that the centres can vaccinate as many people as possible, both now and in the longer term. The work of healthcare professionals – not only from our own Trust but across the NHS, as well as colleagues from the fire and rescue service, the military, St Johns Ambulance, Hampshire Search and Rescue and many more, as well as plenty of fantastic local volunteers from across the communities we serve has been incredible to see in action. The programme has created a genuine social movement with people coming together to work together and fight back.
“We know that the vaccination is a real way out of this pandemic. We are encouraging everyone eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19 when they are invited by the NHS.”
Vaccinations are being offered to people in line with recommendations from the independent JCVI, with all Over 65s now invited for their first dose.
People need an appointment to get their vaccine – they cannot just walk in without an appointment; most people will be invited by a letter and will then have the opportunity to go onto the national booking system and book an appointment slot or call 119. Appointments are released regularly, and there are really good levels of availability for appointments, usually within a day or so, at each of the centres. More slots are released every couple of days, so keep checking back.