CORONAVIRUS vaccinations will start in Herefordshire next week with Ledbury the latest clinic added to the list, health bosses have revealed.

The biggest vaccination programme in NHS history got underway yesterday (Tuesday) when the first Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines were given at hospitals across the UK on Tuesday, including at Bronllys in Brecon.

Herefordshire clinics are set to open their doors on December 15 and 16, with sites in Ledbury and Leominster confirming they are gearing up to start vaccinating next week.

Across England, 1,250 primary care networks, which are groups of GP surgeries, have been asked to designate a single site to administer vaccines in their area.

With five of these networks in Herefordshire, the NHS has said each will have one vaccination site, or in exceptional circumstances there could be two.

That instruction from the NHS means those registered as patients at Kington, Weobley, Kingsland and Leominster surgeries will be asked to go to Bridge Street Sports Centre in Leominster.

The clinic in the town will have 975 doses to start adminstering next week, Dr Crispin Fisher from The Marches Surgery said.

He told BBC Hereford and Worcester the doses would be arriving at the centre on Monday, and due to a limited shelf life, must be used within three-and-a-half days.

For those in the east of the county, the vaccination hub will be at the Community Hall in Ledbury, also starting next week.

It will be for patients at surgeries in Colwall, Cradley, Ledbury and Bromyard.

Colwall’s practice manager Fiona Nikitik said: "GP Practices in Bromyard, Ledbury, Cradley and Colwall are preparing to administer the Covid-19 vaccination next week starting on December 15.

"Initially national guidance states people over 80 years old will receive one does and a second dose after 21 days.

"Patients will be contacted by their surgery to book an appointment to attend one of the clinics. Please do not ring your surgery.

"All practices are excited to be part of the first wave nationally. Lots of planning has taken place to ensure the clinics are successful and safe for patients."


Practice manager at Bromyard’s Nunwell Surgery Vanessa Hargest said: “Currently only one site within each primary care network is allowed due to the challenges around supplying the vaccine.”

She added: “Our hope is that as further sites are allowed, we will get one in Bromyard approved as soon as possible.”

Details of the coronavirus vaccination programme in the county, being spearheaded locally by the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, are still being confirmed.

It is not yet known when or where vaccinations will start in Hereford or the south of the county.

A spokesperson said: "This is a rolling programme and more hospital sites will be named in the coming days, as well as local vaccine services delivered by primary care networks and pharmacies, and vaccination centres."

Speaking on Tuesday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock hoped more hospitals will be able to store the vaccine, with the Wye Valley NHS Trust not named on the list of initial hubs.

Due to the logistical challenges on the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines, which must be kept at -70C, the initial 70 hospital vaccine hubs were chosen as they were best suited, Mr Hancock said.

"We have started at 70 hospitals across the UK. Those are the ones that are best able to deal with the difficult logistics of a vaccine that has to be stored at minus 70C.

"I understand the desire for every hospital to get on that list, and we will publish a further list later today. My local hospital, the West Suffolk, is also not yet administering vaccines.

"The other critical part of this is the primary care networks — the community roll-out — which will get us to many, many more sites where people are able to access the vaccine, so that in Scunthorpe and across the whole of the UK, everybody is able to access this vaccine as fairly and safely as possible."

People must have two doses of the vaccine, at least 21 days apart, for immunity.

The NHS will contact patients when it's their turn, with frontline health workers and people over 85 among the first to be vaccinated.