Health and care leaders in Gloucestershire have praised GP surgery teams, community NHS services and volunteers following news that the vast majority of people in the over 80s priority group have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

COVID-19 vaccinations have also been carried out in nearly every older people’s care home, under the care of Gloucestershire GP practices.

The remaining homes will be visited in the near future.

In total, close to 60,000 people in the top priority groups have now been vaccinated in the county.

The NHS is confident that, pending vaccine supply, it is on track to meet the target of vaccinating the first four priority groups by the middle of February.

Clinical Chair of NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, Dr Andy Seymour said:

“It is hard to put into words the scale of this achievement, particularly when viewed alongside the timeframe involved.

Due to this amazing team effort a large majority of the over 80s in the county have now been offered or have received their first dose and people in the next priority groups, including those in their 70s, are now being contacted.

We are incredibly proud of our GP surgery teams, care partners and a host of other health and care professionals and volunteers who have put their fellow residents first by working literally flat out before, during and after the Christmas and New Year period.”

Gloucestershire is recognised as being at the forefront of the COVID-19 vaccination response.

Enormous progress has been made with vaccinating frontline staff, over 80s and care home residents and there is a real focus on vaccinating the other top priority groups over the coming weeks.

The county’s NHS moved fast to set up the Edward Jenner Vaccination Hospital Hub and a network of 10 community vaccination centres across the county in December. This was against the backdrop of winter and COVID-19 related pressures and the need to maintain vital day to day medical care and services.

Professor Steve Hams, Chief Nurse at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Senior Responsible Officer – Gloucestershire COVID-19 Vaccination programme said:

“We are extremely proud of everyone involved in getting the COVID-19 vaccination programme off the ground and as a result the county has been at the vanguard of the vaccination effort.

These achievements and the continuing progress being made in the county is truly staggering and hat’s off to all those involved – their hard work and selfless approach are making this all possible.

We know that people are thinking of family members and many people in the other top priority groups are keen to receive their first doses of the vaccine. Please wait for the NHS to contact you – we will get to you as quickly as possible.”