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Slapton Parish

Slapton, Devon

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Devon County Council Update - The vaccination programme gathers pace

Thousands of people in Devon are being vaccinated against COVID-19 every day as the biggest vaccination programme in the history of the NHS gathers pace.

All four of the county’s main hospitals, in Plymouth, Exeter, Torquay and Barnstaple, are now offering the vaccination to inpatients in priority groups, as well as frontline staff.

In addition, GP practices are working in groups to set up local vaccination centres. Across the county, 16 centres are now in operation, serving 104 surgeries, with more starting soon to cover the remaining parts of the county and ensure all eligible people are offered the vaccine.

Large-scale vaccination centres serving wide areas are also planned and more details will follow shortly.

The rollout of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in Devon will take place as soon as possible, with some practices due to give it to local people towards the end of this week.

Unlike the Pfizer vaccine, the first to be licenced, the Oxford vaccine does not need to be stored at ultra-low temperatures and is much less complicated to move, making it easier to use in care homes and vaccine people who are housebound.

Care home residents and staff were set as the highest priority group by the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation. In addition to the Oxford vaccine, local vaccination services are being issued with small packs of Pfizer jabs which can be used in care homes.

In the meantime, there are four main things that people in Devon can do to help the NHS give the vaccine to as many local people as possible:

  1. Please choose the right service for your needs as GPs are now managing extra pressures from the vaccine programme. Consider self-care for minor illnesses and injuries; pharmacists for illnesses like diarrhoea, earache, painful cough, sticky eye, teething and rashes; and local minor injury services. You will still get a face-to-face appointment at your local practice if your GP thinks you need one, and you should only go to hospital A&E departments in an emergency.
  2. Attend all appointments, whether it is for a vaccine, to see your GP or at hospital, unless you are personally contacted by your provider and told otherwise.
  3. Follow government rules – the vaccines are a wonderful development, but we are not out of the woods yet. Remember ‘Hands Face Space’ and act as if you have COVID, even after you've been vaccinated
  4. Don’t make things harder for the NHS by calling your local hospital or GP practice about getting the vaccine – the NHS will contact you when it’s your turn.

Also please be aware of the latest covid-19 vaccination scams which are using convincing NHS branded texts and website landing pages to lead people to inputting personal details and making a payment.  The covid-19 vaccine is free to all and the NHS would never as for payment.  Please can you communicate to friends and family.

For more information visit the Together for Devon website.

Image of North Devon Hospital Patient receiving the Covid-19 vaccine

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