Tilehurst Village Surgery gave the first Covid-19 vaccination in Reading on 15 December 2020 as part of the national immunisation campaign to protect the public.
The surgery posted a photo on its Facebook page of their practice nurse Sally with the first patient (see above), saying ‘all the team are very proud to have made history today’.
As well as vaccinating its own patients, Tilehurst Village will also immunise patients from Chancellor House Surgery, Grovelands Medical Centre and Westwood Road Health Centre.
The surgery has told patients it will text patients an invite to their drop-in clinics. The vaccine had to be given to patients within a few days of arriving and the surgery was unlikely to get more than one week notice of delivery dates. Patients would be invited for their second vaccination 21-28 days later.
Similar arrangements will take place across Reading with one designated vaccination site per primary care network (PCN). There are six PCNs in Reading involving groups of surgeries working together to improve care in their neighbourhoods.
GPs have appealed to the public not to contact surgeries to ask when they will get their vaccine, so that practice teams can focus on arranging the vaccinations and provide day to day care for all of their registered patients. People will be contacted when it is their turn to receive the vaccine (see box below).
Who gets the Covid vaccine first?
- Residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
- All those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers
- All those 75 years of age and over
- All those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals
- All those 65 years of age and over
- All individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality
- All those 60 years of age and over
- All those 55 years of age and over
- All those 50 years of age and over
The vaccination is not recommended for:
- Anyone with a history of severe reactions or allergies (following reactions in health care staff who received some of the first vaccines)
- Children (with some exceptions) as it hasn't been tested in this group yet
- Pregnant women, as it hasn't been tested in this group yet. If a woman gets pregnant after receiving a first dose, the second dose will be delayed until after the end of her pregnancy
Speaking on the day of the first vaccinations, Dr Abid Irfan, chair of Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Today marks a significant day in Berkshire West as we go live with our first GP-led services in the greatest vaccination programme ever undertaken by the NHS.
“It has been incredible to see the efforts of GP practices and teams across Berkshire West coming together to work collectively to prepare for today and I am proud of everyone who is involved.”
Dr Irfan added: “Whilst the vaccine offers our best defence against the virus, it’s important to remember that it doesn’t mean we can start to relax our attention to the hands, face, space regulations. I’d urge everyone to continue doing everything they can to comply with the Government’s rules and play their part in helping to keep themselves and their families safe.”