14 per cent of residents have first dose
More than 150,000 vaccinations in Devon have been carried out, more than anywhere else in the south west.
Latest NHS England figures, which provide the position as of 24 January, show that 157,181 vaccinations in the county had taken place, with 145,148 of them being the first dose. More than 14 per cent of people have received their first jab.
Of the 79,525 over 80s in Devon, 63,305 had received the first vaccine (80 per cent), with 10,743 (14 per cent) also receiving the second dose.
And 95 percent of care home residents have had their first dose, with the only residents who haven’t being those in one of 12 where an outbreak of covid-19 currently exists.
Nick Ball, vice-chairman of the Devon CCG, told their board meeting that: "Devon was really strong in terms of the vaccination programme."
Simon Tapley, interim accountable officer for the CCG, added: “We are on schedule to hit the trajectory for the first four cohorts by the mid-February target and we are ahead of trajectory, so we are fairly confident we will hit that.”
Dr Simon Kerr, chair of the East Devon locality, said that he was part of the team who had done several thousand vaccinations at Exmouth Tennis Centre, and that they were through most of the over 80s and now onto those who are housebound, vulnerable and the over 75s.
He added that at the GP hub in St Thomas, they had done 4,100 jabs in the last 10 days, while in the Culm Valley area, they had issued around 5,000 vaccinations.
Dr David Greenwell, clinical representative (southern), said they are now immunising the over 75s, with the Riviera International Conference Centre in Torquay doing around 1,100 vaccines a day.
Devon’s Director of Public Health, Steve Brown, had welcomed the success of the rollout of the vaccination, but has reminded people that they still need to follow the public health measures. Mr Brown said: “I’ve heard various heart-warming stories of gratitude from people in the first priority groups who have recently had their initial coronavirus vaccination – descriptions of the relief they feel, and the promise of getting back to a normal life.
“The vaccination protects those who have had it from becoming seriously ill with coronavirus. However, there is no evidence yet to suggest that the vaccination stops a person from actually catching the virus, nor therefore prevents them from transmitting the virus to others.
“Even when you have had the vaccination, you still need to follow the public health measures and continue to take steps to minimise the risk of spreading the virus.
There are now five methods by which the vaccine is being rolled out across Devon. All four of the county’s main hospitals – in Plymouth, Exeter, Torquay and Barnstaple – are giving the vaccination to priority groups in line with national guidance, while GP practices are working together in groups to set up local vaccination centres, and across the county, 20 centres are now in operation, serving all of Devon practices.
GP-led facilities are delivering the vaccine to residents and staff in care homes, while pharmacies have started to deliver the vaccine, with Westward Ho! being the first to come online.
Vaccination centre at Home Park in Plymouth and Westpoint Arena, Exeter are now operational.