Sutton vaccine rollout gathers pace

Covid-19 vaccinations in Sutton Coldfield are ramping up, with Ley Hill Surgery in Mere Green delivering the jabs alongside Falcon Medical Centre.

Around 7,000 vaccinations have now been performed, despite around 60 patients not turning up for their jab appointments, although the wintry conditions and deep snow could have been a factor.

Due to the way the vaccines are stored and transported, there is a limited time to administer them and plan the number of vaccinations based on who is attending. Non-attendance by patients may cause vaccines to be disposed of unnecessarily.

The news comes as NHS staff started delivering life-saving COVID jabs at a network of more than 1,400 vaccinations sites this week across England.

The Sutton Coldfield Group Practice, which includes Ley Hill Surgery, Four Oaks Medical Centre, Sutton Park Surgery, Vesey Practice, Tudor Practice and Falcon Medical Centre, is leading the vaccination in Sutton and confirmed it had now given more than 7,000 injections.

It delivered its biggest vaccination day so far last Saturday, January 23, with 1,650 receiving their jab. Of that total, 1,288 vaccinations were given that day in Ley Hill with 362 more at the Falcon Lodge site.

On Sunday, Falcon Medical Centre was operational and Pfizer jabs were given ‘without wastage despite the many people who could not attend due to the weather’.

A spokesperson for Sutton Coldfield Group Practice said: “We have now administered over 7,000 vaccinations in total with this week’s target being around 2,300 vaccinations. Unfortunately, 66 patients failed to attend their appointment last week. The practice is now working through those in their 70s with a target of immunising the top four groups by the middle of February.”

The practice said: “We have commenced vaccinating patients in the 79 to 70 age group. If you fall into this category, we will contact you very soon. We are rapidly working down the lists of these people so please bear with us!”

The practice added: “Please do not call us to arrange a vaccination. You will receive a call when the time comes for you to book in for the vaccination.”

As the rollout gathered pace countrywide, an Asda supermarket in West Bromwich, an Islamic education centre in Derby and Bolton Wanderers Football Club are among the new sites operating this week.

They are among 1,438 vaccinations sites ranging from GP and pharmacy-led services to hospitals and large-scale Vaccination Centres that are now operating across the country.

NHS staff are also visiting those who cannot go to their local service or travel to a Vaccination Centre.

Professor Stephen Powis, national medical director for the NHS in England, said: “The NHS vaccination programme, the biggest in health service history, has got off to a strong start.

“NHS staff have worked hard with businesses, community and faith groups to set up an extensive network of vaccination sites that offer a range of options for people in all areas to receive their injection.

“We want to protect as many people as swiftly as possible and this latest milestone, with more than 1,400 sites up and running, means that we can continue to expand delivery as more vaccine supplies come on stream.”

The vaccination programme began with just 50 hospitals hubs on December 8. There are now more than 250 hospitals delivering the jabs along with 1,000 GP-led services.

High Street pharmacies are now vaccinating at 117 sites and there are also 47 large-scale Vaccination Centres, capable of jabbing thousands of people each week.

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