AN 82-year-old woman from Lytham St Annes has become the first person across the Fylde coast to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.
Agnes Lovatt received the Pfizer vaccine this morning at Blackpool Victoria Hospital’s vaccination hub and praised the staff for their efforts.
She said: “I am honoured to be the first person to get the vaccine I must admit.
“I had no hesitation in getting the vaccination when it was offered to me.
“The staff were outstanding and made things really easy for me and I can’t thank them enough.’’
Kevin McGee, Chief Executive of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “A small but incredible group of people have worked throughout this weekend to plan for the safe roll out of the Covid vaccine from this morning.
“This group of staff have given up their family time to plan every detail to make sure we’re ready. It has been a true team effort.’’
NHS chief Sir Simon Stevens praised the efforts of hardworking staff for making the roll out of a Covid-19 vaccine possible, saying that the deployment marks a “decisive turning point” in the battle against the pandemic.
The NHS in England will begin the biggest and most highly anticipated immunisation campaign in history at 50 hospital hubs this week, with more starting vaccinations over the coming weeks and months as the programme ramps up.
Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was among the first hospitals to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.
Since the Pfizer vaccine got the green light from regulators last week, health service staff have been working around the clock to manage the huge scale logistical challenge of deploying the vaccine.
Dr Amanda Doyle OBE, Chief Officer for Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System, said: “Local teams are working hard to put arrangements in place to allow us to start protecting the most vulnerable people in our communities. Being prepared for a vaccine involves a wide range of organisations. We’d like to thank our partners who are supporting this on a local basis including NHS, Lancashire County Council, Cumbria County Council, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, Blackpool Council, our district councils, the military, police and many more.”
Sir Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive, said: “Coronavirus is the greatest health challenge in NHS history, taking loved ones from us and disrupting every part of our lives.
“Hospitals have now cared for more than 190,000 seriously ill Covid-19 patients and have seen beds fill up again in recent weeks.
“The deployment of this vaccine marks a decisive turning point in the battle with the pandemic. NHS vaccination programmes which have successfully helped overcome tuberculosis, polio, and smallpox, now turn their focus to coronavirus.
“NHS staff are proud to be leading the way as the first health service in the world to begin vaccination with this Covid jab.”
People aged 80 and over as well as care home workers will be first to receive the jab this week, along with NHS workers who are at higher risk.
People will receive an invitation to have their vaccine. For most people this will be a letter, either from their GP or the national NHS.
This letter will include all the information people will need to book appointments, including their NHS number.
Residents are asked not to contact the NHS to get an appointment until you get this letter.
Information on the vaccine is available on the NHS.UK website.