Deputy Clinical Chair at NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, Dr Hein Le Roux said:

“We are extremely proud of our GP practice teams, volunteers and community NHS colleagues for their outstanding and tireless efforts in getting the COVID-19 community vaccination programme off the ground.

They have truly pulled out all the stops and have moved mountains in the face of very challenging timescales. As a result, Gloucestershire is at the vanguard of the COVID-19 community vaccination response with thousands having already received their first doses.

We know that this is just the beginning and we acknowledge that a great many people in priority groups are extremely keen to have their vaccinations as soon as possible.

There is a balance to be struck to ensure that all community vaccination centres in the county have an opportunity to get up and running and hold their first clinics to learn from the experience and refine their approach. We are also keen that there is as much equity as possible in terms of use of the first Pfizer vaccine stocks across Gloucestershire.

As a result, more centres in the county got their first vaccinations underway from early this week and centres across Gloucestershire will continue to vaccinate patients in the days and weeks to come, subject to further and expected supplies of vaccine.

GP practices are continuing to contact patients to invite priority patients (initially over 80s) to have their vaccinations and at the same time plan for care home residents. Care home and healthcare staff are being vaccinated to protect the vulnerable groups they come into contact with.

Practices are doing all they can, whilst continuing to provide day to day medical care for patients. We politely request that priority patients wait to be contacted about their vaccinations. Thank you for your understanding at this time and for your goodwill and fantastic support for this historic effort.”