THE coronavirus vaccination programme in Herefordshire is well under way, with plans to vaccinate all over-50s within the next three months.

There are currently five vaccination sites in Herefordshire, run by GP surgeries, which have been vaccinating the most vulnerable people in the county.

As per the coronavirus vaccination priority list, drawn up by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), care home residents and their carers, along with all those over the age of 80 and frontline health and social care workers, have been first in line for the jab.


Giving an update on the vaccination programme, managing director of Herefordshire and Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Group Jo-anne Alner said: "What we currently have operating is five sites in primary care locations.

“The population of Herefordshire is split into five primary care networks (PCNs), which are groups of GPs working together, and there’s one site per area across the whole county where GPs are now delivering the Covid vaccine.

“We have also now, this week, started to have a site at Hereford County Hospital, so we are now starting to deliver vaccines specifically for our health and social care workers at that site.

“We will also have in the future pharmacists that can do that and they will come online in a few weeks, but we have no more specific details than that at the moment, but they will be able to do that in the future."

Jo-anne Alner added: “The plan is in December we started rolling it out. The PCNs in Herefordshire didn’t all go at once, but they went in a gradual process over a few weeks to make sure they were ready to go.

“We’ve had very clear direction on who we can vaccinate first. During December we had a limited number of vaccines so they really were precious and only for those people who were considered highest risk.

“At times, clinicians have had to make really difficult decisions about who gets it and who doesn’t, and it’s been very specified for us.

“We haven’t wanted to move out of that, so it’s very rare we’ve gone outside of these priority groups.”

Hereford Times: The coronavirus vaccine hub at Hereford County Hospital. Picture: Jane IvesThe coronavirus vaccine hub at Hereford County Hospital. Picture: Jane Ives

The jabs are being delivered at sites across the country as the Government commits to offering a vaccine to more than 13 million people in the top four priority groups by mid-February.

Jo-anne Alner was confident everyone in these groups, which include health and social care staff, everyone over-70, and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals, would be vaccinated by then.

Everyone will be contacted when it's time for their jab, and people are told not to contact their GP about it.

She said anyone over-80 who hadn't already been invited to get their jab, would be contacted in due course, and anyone living or working in care homes would be vaccinated in next three weeks.

“As times goes on, it will only be a couple of weeks, when we will start going down the age groups in relation to who will receive a vaccine," she added.

“We will, and we are aiming to, do everyone over 50 and anyone who is under 50 but would have been invited for a flu jab, so if you normally get invited for a flu jab and you are under 50, you are in what we call our first phase of population.

“We aim to offer the vaccination to everyone in those cohorts one the next two to three months and make sure we given you at least your first vaccine."

Hereford Times: Meryl Amott and Frank Wood have been among the residents at Herefordshire Care Homes to have their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine this weekMeryl Amott and Frank Wood have been among the residents at Herefordshire Care Homes to have their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine this week

So far, it's only been the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine being given out in Herefordshire, but Ross-on-Wye GP Dr Simon Lennane expects the arrival of the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab later this week.

The approval of the Oxford vaccine means more sites can now be created in Herefordshire, boosting capacity.


Jo-anne Alner said: “We are looking at additional sites, these won’t be primary care led, but they will be vaccination sites people can drive to and there will be increased capacity for vaccinations as well there.

“But it’s important that we have to have this signed off by the national teams, so we’re expecting that to come online at the end of month, so our capacity is going to increase, the number of vaccines we are going to be able to deliver and have access to is increasing, and we know that we’ve learnt from December.

“It’s been like a test month really, we’ve learnt a lot really, us and the team are speeding up a lot and doing it a lot quicker than they thought in the first couple of weeks.”