Health bosses pleased with vaccine programme progress in Lincolnshire

NHS bosses are hoping to offer all care homes in Lincolnshire the first COVID vaccine dose by the end of the week.

It comes as health bosses in the county say they are pleased with the early progress of the vaccination programme so far.

Director of Nursing at Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group, Martin Fahy told BBC Radio Lincolnshire that about three quarters of care home jabs had been completed so far.

By Thursday, nearly 50,000 people in the county received doses of vaccine — more than half of the county’s over 80 population.

Mr Fahy said Lincolnshire’s health services had been going “at great guns” now for a number of weeks.

“We’re on track to complete all our care homes by this weekend, so we’re really excited about that,” he said. Their teams have so far vaccinated over 65 per cent of care homes.

“Care homes are one of our top priority groups at the moment.

“We were one of the first areas to open up, and we now have all of our local vaccination centres up and running.

“Lincolnshire is very much ahead of the game and we’re making really good progress in that respect.”

The figures released on Thursday show 49,633 jabs between December 8 and January 17. It is the first time localised figures have been released.

It means they do not include some figures from the Boston mass vaccination centre which opened at the beginning of the week.

The data shows that of the doses given, 24,253 were to people aged over 80 for their first dose, with a further 1,562 receiving a second jab.

Some 22,682 people under the age of 80 have received their first vaccination and another 1,136 have been given their second.

Mr Fahy added: “We know in Lincolnshire that we have a high proportion of care homes and elderly people compared to many other parts of the country. I am delighted with the progress that our teams across the county are making with the vaccination programme.

“We are all pushing hard to deliver the vaccines to our priority groups and the level of commitment to doing this is enormous. The feedback from patients has been fantastic too, and every day more people in Lincolnshire are being protected by receiving their vaccine.”

The CCG would like to thank GPs for their efforts so far in reaching the most vulnerable across one of the largest counties in the country.

Dr Sunil Hindocha, GP said: “It is a privilege to be part of this huge effort to vaccinate people across our county, this is about our patients, friends and families. This is one of the most rewarding and humbling experiences of my career.

“Every time I hear the hope and gratitude spoken by someone I am vaccinating, for whom this is the first outing since March, I am reminded of the importance of delivering this vaccination to as many of our vulnerable population as quickly as we can. The positive feedback from our patients and care home partners has been very proudly received by us all.”

Rebecca Neno, Deputy chief nurse at Lincolnshire NHS CCG said: “We would like to thank each and every person involved in this effort for the significant part they have played. This includes not only NHS staff and primary care colleagues, but also our partners across Lincolnshire County Council and all district councils, the Local Resilience Forum, the voluntary sector, the University of Lincoln, our military liaison leads and many, many more.”

The Government has released a target date of mid-February for vaccinations of the first four priority groups to occur, equating to 209,000 people in Lincolnshire.

The immediate focus is on vaccinating care home residents and people aged over 80 years.

Lincolnshire County Council’s Director of Public Health Professor Derek Ward confirmed there were currently 15 care homes with an outbreak of more than one case.

They include around 70 residents and a similar number of staff.

Earlier today, he said the vaccination news across the county was “decent”, and added the NHS services across the county had been “doing a great job” in rolling it out.

However, he still urged more local details to be released.