Derbyshire GPs are due to begin vaccinating their first patients against Covid-19 at medical centres in Dronfield and Ripley.
The primary care vaccination sites are expected to be the first of their kind in Derbyshire to begin using the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, following the initial launch of vaccinations at the Royal Derby Hospital and Chesterfield Royal Hospital last week.
The plan is for Stubley Medical Centre in Dronfield to conduct its first vaccinations on Friday morning, followed by Church Farm Primary Care Centre in Ripley on Saturday morning, joining practices all over the country taking delivery of the vaccine in local vaccination centres in villages, towns and cities covering every part of the country.
People should wait to be contacted about their vaccination, and do not need to visit or contact their GP about the vaccine. Vaccinations are initially being provided for those aged 80 and over, as well as care home workers and residents, identified as priority groups for the life-saving vaccine.
Stubley Medical Centre is one of 11 GP practices managed by Chesterfield and Dronfield Primary Care Network (PCN) in north-east Derbyshire.
The PCN’s Clinical Lead, Dr Miles Davidson, who is Senior Partner at Stubley Medical Centre, said the first vaccinations represented a turning point for the people of Derbyshire: “I’m delighted that we are able to begin delivering Covid-19 vaccinations at a local level.
“General Practice has the expertise to deliver mass vaccination in the UK. This is a watershed moment in our efforts to protect patients from this virus.
“Our PCN team and Community Health colleagues across the area have risen to the challenge of preparing to deliver the vaccine, and I can’t speak highly enough of all the work they have put in.”
The Ripley site is run by Alfreton Ripley Crich & Heanor Primary Care Network, which works across nine GP practices in central Derbyshire.
One of the PCN's Clinical Directors, Dr Andrew Mott, said he was proud to be able to begin delivering the vaccine to patients: “Our teams in all our GP practices across the PCN have worked incredibly hard to get this site ready to begin vaccinations. Just like our colleagues across the whole NHS, they have been magnificent in getting us to this stage so quickly.
“We have already begun contacting patients to come in for the vaccinations, but want to stress that people should wait for us to get in touch with them.”
Primary care in Derbyshire is commissioned by the Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which is working closely with GPs across the region to open up new vaccination sites in the coming weeks.
Dr Steve Lloyd, Medical Director for the CCG, said: “This is a complex process involving the transport of a delicate vaccine, as well as the preparation of vaccination sites which will enable safe and effective vaccinations.
“The plan is to start vaccinations in Dronfield and Ripley, and more will open soon.
“Our focus is on ensuring everyone eligible for a vaccine gets access to a vaccination site, and this will happen in a phased way as more sites become available. We ask that people continue to be patient, and wait for the NHS to contact them about a vaccination. “Staff are working incredibly hard to get these sites set up, and are doing an astonishing job to mount the greatest vaccination programme in NHS history.”