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Oxfordshire GPs rollout Covid-19 vaccine

Three sites have been selected to be part of the first wave of England's immunisation programme.

Clinics in Abingdon, Henley-on-Thames and Chipping Norton will start to deliver the Pfizer-BionTech coronavirus vaccine to those aged over 80 today. The areas have a high number of elderly people living there - which is why they've been chosen.

GPs in Oxfordshire have been 'working round the clock' to put arrangements in place to start delivering the jab.

Dr Kiren Collison, GP and Clinical Chair at Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "Coronavirus is the greatest health challenge in NHS history, taking loved ones from us and disrupting every part of our lives. 

"We are delighted that practices in Abingdon, Chipping Norton and Henley are now part of the first wave of local vaccination sites that will start vaccinating people who are most vulnerable.

"I would encourage patients to get the vaccine when called for it; the strict approval process this vaccine has gone through means it is safe and our best defence against the virus. 
"This is the latest step in the plans to roll out the vaccine across the country; other age groups and cohorts will be offered the vaccination in a phased approach, in line with national priorities. In addition to this, we can continue to keep ourselves and others safe by socially distancing, wearing a face covering and following the hand hygiene guidance."

Local residents who are eligible to receive the vaccine will be contacted by their local GP practice and invited to attend an appointment - they will need a second injection after 21 days. 

Meanwhile, health experts have issued fresh warnings about a rise in cases caused by Christmas socialising.

34 million people will move into the top tier of covid-19 restrictions tomorrow.

London and parts of Essex and Hertfordshire will see pubs and restaurants closed - because of soaring rates blamed on a new strain of the infection.

Mr Hancock said yesterday that the measures would be a “blow” to people and businesses, but said: “We know from experience that the best thing to do in the face of this virus is to act fast, not to wait to see its growth continue – and we do not rule out further action.”

He went on: “This rise in transmission, as well as this new variant of Covid should be a warning to us all that even after such a difficult year, we must stay vigilant.”

He said it was necessary to move London from Tier 2 to Tier 3 to prevent the NHS being overwhelmed.

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