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One year milestone for the NHS Covid-19 Vaccination Programme

8 December 2021: Today is the one-year anniversary of the first Covid-19 vaccination to be given in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) at Southmead hospital. The milestone comes on the day that people aged over 40, along with frontline health and care staff and those in high risk groups, are able to have their life-saving Covid booster vaccination three months after their second dose, brought forward from six months.

Since 8 December 2020, our local vaccination programme has delivered 1,700,299 vaccinations, including 21,312 to our most vulnerable populations through our Maximising Uptake outreach programme. Our teams have worked tirelessly to vaccinate people against Covid-19 at 53 GP-run clinics, two large scale vaccination centres, 14 community pharmacy sites, three hospital clinics, in parks, in shops, at their place of work and in their homes.

Geeta Iyer, Clinical Lead for the BNSSG Vaccination Programme, said: “I am awed by the progress we have made in the Vaccination Programme in such a short space of time. In the past 12 months our programme has evolved from a highly clinical process with early vaccinations being administered in hospitals and GP surgeries to our position, today, with teams regularly vaccinating in workplaces, on the street and in community settings across BNSSG.

“It’s been quite a journey for everyone involved across our healthcare system and I want to say a huge ‘thank you’, on behalf of the BNSSG Vaccination Programme, to everyone who has been involved in this life-saving Programme. You really have made a difference.”

99-year-old Jack Vokes from North Somerset was the first person to receive his Covid-19 vaccination in BNSSG at Southmead hospital. One year on from being vaccinated, he said: “I can’t believe it’s been a year. I feel very lucky. I’d like to thank everyone involved very much for what they’re doing. God bless you all and have a very happy Christmas.”

With increasing numbers of confirmed Omicron cases across the country, vaccination is critical to bolster our defences against this new variant. Please have your first, second or booster jab, without delay. People can get their vaccine by booking online through the National Booking Service or by calling 119, at a local clinic (visit www.grabajab.net for details) and GP practices are also inviting those who are eligible.

To mark the anniversary, Dr. Neil Kerfoot and Practice Manager Robyn Clark from Kingswood Health Centre featured on BBC Radio Bristol this morning to discuss the past 12-months and highlight how well everyone has united to achieve such a high level of vaccinations.

Radio Bristol also caught up with 105-year-old care home resident Edna, who spoke about her experiences of getting her first and second vaccinations, along with her booster jab, and the positive difference they’ve made on her life.

You can listen back to the full show on BBC Sounds.