GPs in rural communities are joining forces to set up community vaccination centres to help vaccinate more people closer to home.
This weekend [Saturday 23 January and Sunday 24 January], three centres being run by a collaboration of GP practices will open allowing the Pfizer vaccination to be used at a local level as well as the Oxford AstraZeneca.
Previously, the Pfizer vaccine had to be used in Wales’ special mass vaccination centres due to the ultra-low temperatures it needs to be stored at.
The community vaccination centres have been set up by health boards as part of the Welsh Government’s covid-19 vaccination roll-out strategy with the first three located on the Llŷn Peninsula, Buckley in Denbighshire and North Bridgend.
The new centres will initially help with vaccinating people over 80 and those with mobility issues in rural communities. It is anticipated around 3,000 people will be vaccinated at the three centres this weekend.
Health Minister Vaughan Gething said:
“Vaccination is our top priority so I want to thank all the GP practices right across Wales that are working in unison to set up these new community vaccination centres.
“This enables GPs to use both of the vaccines available to us and will help more people to be vaccinated somewhere that is much closer to home than the large vaccination centres.
“Every week, our vaccination programme speeds up as more centres are opened and more vaccines are available for the small army of healthcare professionals administering vaccines.
“I’d encourage any other GP practices in our rural communities who could work together to get in touch with their health board”.
A group of GP practices in North West Wales have clustered together and will be delivering 1,000 vaccines to the most vulnerable in their local community.
GP of Ty Doctor Surgery in Gwynedd, Dr Eilir Hughes stated:
“In our local community, we’re at least 50 miles away from the nearest main vaccine centre in North West Wales, so as you can imagine there is a real challenge in ensuring that the most vulnerable in our community are vaccinated as soon as possible.
I’m proud to say that due to a herculean effort from our amazing admin staff right across our local communities, this weekend, three GP practices are coming together to vaccinate 1,000 elderly patients in two days. This will be an amazing achievement and is testament to the tireless and selfless dedication of our amazing healthcare professionals.
It’s truly humbling to see our community come together as one, to protect and deliver for our most vulnerable.”
Vaughan Gething finished by stating:
“Seeing the dedication, the selflessness and the tireless work that these communities are undertaking to protect the most vulnerable in our society is truly inspiring. I want to thank all our amazing healthcare professionals and all those working in the NHS in delivering our vaccine rollout.”