While many of us saw the Christmas and new year holiday as an opportunity to take a break and spend more time with our friends and family, those working on the Covid-19 booster rollout were still working hard to make sure as many people in Kent and Medway had access to the Covid-19 vaccine.
As of today (Friday, 7 January), we have administered more than 3.6million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, including more 990,000 boosters. Equivalent to 80 per cent of the eligible population.
We’ve only been able to achieve this through the hard work of everyone involved in the vaccine programme, and through you coming to have your vaccination.
During the festive holiday, vaccination sites continued to operate with increased staff and longer opening hours, to allow those needing their first, second or booster vaccine to be able to access it at a time and location that was convenient to them.
This included clinics opening on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day to provide vaccine to those who wanted it.
Even with more than 25 walk-in and 49 bookable sites across Kent and Medway, clinics were looking at ways to make sure they were in the right place for those who wanted the vaccine. This included a pop-up clinic at the Designer Outlet shopping centre in Ashford, which administered more than 450 vaccinations throughout its stay.
NHS Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group’s Chief Nurse Paula Wilkins said: “Our vaccination centres, community pharmacies and GPs provided an amazing service in the build-up and throughout the festive period. On 12 December, they were asked to increase their capacity to an unprecedented level, and they stepped forward to achieve this.
“On Saturday 18 December, we saw more than 33,000 vaccinations take place across Kent and Medway – our biggest day of vaccinations since the programme started in December 2020. The previous high was 28,000 in March.
“There is still more to do - and we need your support to make sure we vaccinate as many people as possible.
“If you’re yet to book your vaccine, please book via the national booking service – online at nhs.uk/covidvaccine, or by phoning 119. More and more walk-in clinics are taking place. You can find out more at kentandmedwayccg.nhs.uk/covid19vaccine.
“I’d also like to take this opportunity to once again thank all our amazing vaccination workforce. from the Vaccination Team at the CCG, working hard in the background, to those working on the front line in the vaccination centres, and the amazing volunteers who are giving up their time to help others; the programme could not have delivered what it has done without you. Thank you.’’