Swindon’s hospital to start giving Covid vaccine from Wednesday

Great Western Hospital will begin vaccinating patients against coronavirus from this week, as part of the biggest immunisation programme in history.

People aged 80 and over as well as care home workers will be first to receive the vaccination, along with NHS workers who are at higher risk.

The Swindon’s hospital is one of the 50 hubs in the first wave of the roll out of the vaccine.

A GWH spokesman told the Adver: “We are working towards rolling this out on Wednesday. It is a fast-moving situation, so it could change, but that’s what we currently think.”

Patients aged 80 and above who are already attending hospital as an outpatient, and those who are being discharged home after a hospital stay will be among to receive the life-saving dose.

GWH staff have been working over the weekend to prepare the site and accept deliveries.

Chief Executive Kevin McNamara said: “I’m really proud that our Trust will be playing a leading role in delivering the COVID-19 vaccination from this week. 

“Our staff have worked incredibly hard for a very long time, and they will now step up once again to deliver the roll-out of the vaccine.

“This is a very complex logistical challenge for the whole NHS and us as an organisation and has involved a huge amount of detailed planning which we continue to work through as quickly as we can.

“Many of us have been waiting for this day for a very long time and while this is good news, let’s not forget that coronavirus remains real and we must all continue to play our part in following all local and national guidance to keep ourselves safe and stop the virus spreading.

“There is no need to contact the NHS to book an appointment to get the vaccine – the NHS will contact patients directly about arrangements and we would ask everyone to bear with us at this time.”

GPs and other primary care staff across the country are also being put on standby to start delivering the vaccination.

A small number of GP-led primary care networks will begin doing so during the following week, with more practices in more parts of the country joining in on a phased basis during December and in the coming months.

Vaccination centres treating large numbers of patients in sporting venues and conference centres will subsequently stand up when further supplies of vaccine come on stream.

The life-saving vaccine is typically delivered by a simple injection in the shoulder but there is a complex and difficult logistical challenge to deliver from the manufacturers Pfizer to patients.

It needs to be stored at -70C before being thawed out and can only be moved four times within that cold chain before being used.

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