National figures published last week report that our local clinicians have already vaccinated around 140,000 residents, an increase of around 45,000 on those reported in the previous week. You can find full details on the NHS England website where the latest data will be published every Thursday afternoon. We know many local people are keen to see data specific to Merton, we will share this with you as soon as we can.
Our second large vaccination centre at Selhurst Park, Crystal Palace’s stadium in Croydon, began vaccinations on Monday and a further site, Harlequin’s Twickenham Stadium, is planned to launch later this week. This will mean that local people who are contacted by the national booking system will have more choice about where they can book an appointment closer to them.
In addition to the GP led primary care sites, hospital hubs and large vaccination sites, South West London residents will also soon have the option of having their vaccine at one of five community pharmacy sites. The introduction of community pharmacy sites is being managed at a regional level and we hope to share more information shortly.
The NHS is working closely with local authorities and community partners to ensure up to date information is available for local people around how the vaccination works and how safe it is, through conversations with health and care staff, local leaders and the wider community. We are particularly listening to residents who are Black, Asian or from an ethnic minority, those who older, more vulnerable and those living in deprived areas.
As one of the top priority groups, we’ve been working hard to ensure that front-line care workers know they are eligible for the vaccine and how to book their appointment. As well as the importance of these groups getting protected, we know that health and social care staff are key in reassuring their clients and patients that the vaccines are safe and effective, and this will help encourage others to feel confident to accept the offer of the vaccine when it is their turn.
Everyone can play a part in our fight against the virus and we are grateful to the extraordinary efforts of our armed forces who are doing their bit to help deliver the biggest medical deployment this country has ever seen. On Monday and Tuesday this week, armed service personnel are working alongside the primary care team and volunteers at the Nelson Medical Centre in Merton to vaccinate residents, and they continue to support the vaccine hub at St George’s hospital. Find out more on the NHS COVID-19 vaccine website.