Spotlight

Over 1m second vaccination doses delivered in the South West

Over one million people in the South West have now received their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

This milestone comes as the number of people in the region who have received their first dose tops three million.

The second vaccine around 12 weeks later maximises protection against COVID-19 infection.

Regional Director of NHSE/I South West, Elizabeth O’Mahony said: “This is a fantastic milestone, and everyone involved in the vaccination rollout, both frontline and behind the scenes, should feel really proud.

“The success of the vaccination rollout has already contributed to dramatic falls in infections, hospitalisations and deaths from the virus.

“However, even when vaccinated it’s important we all continue to follow all the guidance in place, including hands, face and space.”

The same vaccine should be used for both doses. To ensure this, people should have their second dose at the same place as their first.

People who received their first dose in a hospital hub or through a GP service will be contacted to receive their second dose.

Those who booked their first appointment through the national booking service will have booked both their first and second appointments at the same time, and can log in at www.nhs.uk/covidvaccine to be reminded of their arrangements.

Dr Julie Yates, Lead Consultant for Screening and Immunisation in the South West added: “The second dose is really important for maximum long term protection, so when you are due to have yours please make sure you attend your appointment.

“If you’re eligible for your first dose but haven’t booked yet please join the millions of people who are helping to protect themselves and others. It’s a really important step in continuing our progress back towards normal life.”

NHS staff are working hard alongside volunteers to ensure that everyone in the eligible cohorts has been offered a vaccination appointment. This is now extended to people aged 45 and over.

Anyone who has not yet taken up their invitation is encouraged to book their slot as soon as possible by visiting www.nhs.uk/covidvaccine or calling 119. As well as those aged 45 or over, that includes frontline health and social care workers, carers, and people with health conditions that mean they are more at risk of serious illness if they get COVID-19.