The High Sheriff of Cheshire has paid tribute to everyone involved in the county's COVID-19 Vaccination Programme.
Dr Andrew Wilson and Clare Watson – Chair and Accountable Officer of NHS Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) – accepted a High Sheriff's Award from Robert Mee DL (Deputy Lieutenant) on behalf of everyone involved in the local COVID-19 Vaccination Programme.
On a visit to the GP-led vaccination service in Middlewich, Mr Mee spoke of his admiration for the tireless work of health and care staff – and reserved special praise for the vital role of volunteers.
"It is impossible not to be impressed by the incredible teamwork of the CCG, primary care, local authorities and other partners which has helped to save thousands of lives," he said. "Then there are those on the front line – the health and care staff, fire and rescue officers and so many others that have worked on a scale never seen before.
"And then there are our wonderful volunteers. Time and again I hear from friends and colleagues about the welcome in the car park and the cheery comments which put those who are nervous at ease – guiding people through their jabbing journey to feel, at last, that they are starting to be protected against this dreadful disease.
"Our communities will be forever thankful."
Since Mona Thomas, 92, became the first person in Cheshire to receive a COVID-19 vaccination on December 8th 2020, Cheshire's vaccination services have successfully vaccinated hundreds of thousands of residents.
In line with the national commitment, everyone aged 50+, all frontline health and care workers, unpaid carers and anyone aged 16-64 with an underlying health condition which places them at higher risk have been offered a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
This is an evergreen offer though. Anyone who is eligible – but yet to take up a COVID-19 vaccination – can arrange their appointments online at nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/ or by calling 119.
Dr Andrew Wilson, a GP in Sandbach, said: "With the support of countless staff and volunteers across Cheshire, fantastic progress has been made with the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme. But there remains much to do, with many first and second doses still outstanding, some younger people yet to become eligible and the potential for booster jabs later in the year.
"The High Sheriff's kind words and gesture gives us a real boost in maintaining our momentum."
Five new pharmacy-led vaccination services have been confirmed for Cheshire to support the next phase of the county's COVID-19 Vaccination Programme.
This week pharmacy-led vaccination services will start vaccinating eligible residents at Nantwich Masonic Lodge and Vicar's Cross United Reformed Church.
Then, in the week commencing May 24th 2021, further pharmacy-led vaccination services are due to go live at Hartford Methodist Church, Well Pharmacy in Barnton and Tesco Pharmacy in Crewe.