History was made yesterday as the UK launched it's COVID-19 vaccination programme.
Last week, the first COVID-19 vaccine was approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and less than a week later, the most vunerable in Oxfordshire, West Berkshire and Buckinghamshire were starting to receive the jab.
The Churchill Hospital in Oxford was selected as one of the designated 50 hospital hubs to start delivering the the vaccine yesterday (8/12) to people over 80, care workers and frontline NHS workers from Oxfordshire and West Berkshire.
Sam Foster, Chief Nursing Officer, and Nicholas Woodthorpe, the first patient at the OUH Vaccination Centre
Dr Bruno Holthof, Chief Executive Officer of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH), said:
"I would like to thank all of our staff who have done such a tremendous job to get our hospital hub set up at such pace. This has been a great achievement of team working by our estates, digital, pharmacy and clinical staff, with the support of many more.
"This is a hugely significant moment in our pandemic response, and offers hope at the end of what has been an incredibly difficult year for us all.
"The strict approval process it has gone through means that the approved vaccine, and any other vaccines approved in the future, will not only be safe, but will also be our best defence against the virus."
We spoke to Sam Foster, Chief Nursing Officer at OUH, who told us how she felt after playing a part in delivering the first vaccinations:
Sam added: "Please don't contact your GP or other health professionals asking for the vaccine just yet. We know people are keen to have it, but we have limited supplies currently and will be contacting those who need it most first. Please do act on your invite and make sure you attend your appointment when arranged.
"We can all still help to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe by continuing to social distance, wear a mask and follow the hand hygiene guidance - this will save lives."
Patient James Fowler receives his COVID-19 vaccination