COVID-19 vaccinations to start for Bristol residents in 10 days' time
RESIDENTS of Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset will start receiving coronavirus vaccines in just 10 days’ time, local NHS chiefs have revealed.
Starting with over-50s and front-line health and care workers, people will be offered jabs at GP surgeries and a regional mass vaccination centre, open 12 hours per day, which is set to be created at Bristol City’s Ashton Gate stadium.
Between 75,000 and 110,000 people in the city, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire will receive vaccines every week from Monday, December 7, according to a report to University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Trust (UHBW) board by Healthier Together, the region’s partnership of health and social care organisations.
The programme would run until early April.
GP practices will be grouped together, the report said, with practice administering jabs for patients from the other surgeries in each group, seven days a week.
Pharmacies will fill the gaps where GP coverage is low, and home visits will be carried out for housebound people, the area’s clinical commissioning group says.
At least 70 per cent of the local population will need to be vaccinated, which involves a second dose three to four weeks after the first.
UHBW chief executive Robert Woolley told trust board members today: “We are gearing up to provide and administer mass vaccinations.
“This is moving very fast.
“It is subject to Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority approval but if that approval is fast tracked, as we expect, then we are gearing up to be able to start vaccinating staff and any other priorities that are advised to us nationally in December.”
A report to the board of the trust, which runs the BRI, Bristol Children’s Hospital and Weston General, said Ashton Gate had been identified as a potential site for the mass vaccinations, and would be open 12 hours every day.
It was the only site named in the papers.
North Bristol Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Southmead, will oversee the programme.
The mass vaccination centre will be alongside a GP-led service.
Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire CCG head of primary care development Jenny Bowker told a council meeting that everyone over 50 and other high-risk groups would receive it first, with over-80s and care home residents and staff at the front of the queue.
She said details were being finalised but that the priority groups would be similar to those for flu jabs and that GPs should be ready within weeks, although it was not yet known which vaccines would be available first.
“There is a lot of work locally to develop our mass vaccination model,” she told South Gloucestershire Council health scrutiny committee on Wednesday.
“There are different vaccines coming on line.
“We know that the first vaccine has some particular requirements and subsequent vaccines will have different requirements and we are developing a model that will work for all of those eventualities.
“We know we will have a mass vaccination site and a primary care service as well.
“Primary care general practices were asked to group together and nominate some designated sites and we are expecting to have confirmation of those soon.
“There will be priority cohorts of patients and we are expecting those to be similar to the flu groups.
“That will come to those at the highest risk in the first instance and those over 50, and there will be a big focus on making sure we are covering our workforce.
“We are working very hard with general practice to be ready for that in the coming month.
“Groups of practices will be asked particularly to focus on housebound patients and care home residents, as well as vaccinating their own staff.”
She said GPs had been asked to choose one surgery to provide the jabs for patients from a group of surgeries.
“That may change as we know more about the vaccines that come through but in the first instance we are looking at how a practice site may be able to work on behalf of the group of practices,” she said.
“It will also be supported by local pharmacies and there will be campaigns to advertise the services on offer as that comes through.
“Depending on the vaccine, we know there will be specific supply and delivery logistics that will need to be worked through.”
South Gloucestershire director of public health Sara Blackmore told the meeting that the vaccine was expected to be given annually.
She said: “In terms of suppressing the spread, we are looking at needing to vaccinate about 70 per cent.
“That is the current science but it’s clearly one to watch.”
By Adam Postans, Local Democracy Reporting Service