‘Phenomenal response’ to vaccine roll-out in Angmering
Almost 1,000 patients have already been vaccinated against coronavirus at a GP surgery in Angmering, which was one of the first in the country to begin administering jabs.
Vaccinations at the Angmering Medical Centre in Station Road started on December 14 for patients of the practice and others in the primary care network, which include The Coppice Surgery in Rustington and Fitzalan Medical Centre in Fitzalan Road, Littlehampton.
Dr Jeremy Mayhew, clinical director of the primary care network, said the process was going ‘really smoothly’ so far.
“We were very keen to put ourselves forward,” he said. “It’s fantastic to get a head start and get our population vaccinated.
“Obviously at the moment there’s no bigger general health risk than trying to bring this virus under control.”
So far, the group has administered 970 jabs for over 80’s and some health and care staff, as well as 300 jabs in care homes.
Dr Mayhew said patients were ‘absolutely delighted’ to receive the vaccine.
Uptake so far had been well over 98 per cent, with ‘very few’ people declining to get it, he added.
“It’s been absolutely fantastic, a phenomenal response,” he said. “They are desperate to get it.”
And while precautions are in place, there had been no adverse reactions to the vaccine so far.
The drive to get patients vaccinated as quickly as possible has seen some nursing staff redeployed to work on the vaccination programme, while volunteers have also been drafted in to help out with admin work and managing the car park.
There is further good news on the horizon, as plans to move the vaccination centre to the community centre in Angmering, a ‘spacious building’ which is ‘not really being used’ at the moment, are being finalised.
Dr Mayhew said this would allow staff to double the number of vaccines taking place each week to 2,000.
He is hopeful they will be able to see the group’s cohort of around 10,000 vulnerable people in the next couple of months.
In the meantime, while he said he understood people were ‘impatient’ to get the vaccine, patients should not call their surgery but wait to be contacted when it is their turn.
The latest data shows the Covid infection rate in Arun stood at 682 cases per 100,000 people in the week 25-31 December.
The average area in England had 453 cases per 100,000 people.