Eden is on track to complete vaccinations of the district’s 11,000 residents forming the top four priority groups by tomorrow, with over a 90 per cent uptake by patients.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson set the ambitious target to have all of the UK’s top four cohorts receive the first of the COVID-19 vaccinations by February 15 and Eden is set to achieve that goal, which will see the vast majority of Eden’s 70-year-old and over residents and extremely vulnerable patients covered.
The effort has been co-ordinated by Eden Primary Care Network and jabs delivered at the Penrith Vaccination Hub at Penrith Hospital while vaccinations have also been administered to housebound patients and those in all of the district’s care homes.
This week saw the vaccination be given to the remainder of the group four residents – aged 70 to 75 and extremely vulnerable patients – along with some patients from higher priority groups who had been delayed in getting the vaccine.
Anna Sives, head of operations for Eden Primary Care Network, said: “We have exceeded expectations and the percentage uptake has been very high – over 90 per cent.
“A small amount have declined but others are those who wouldn’t have been able to get the vaccination because they were in hospital, had a positive COVID test or very severe allergies.”
The high uptake of residents accepting the vaccine means that once the fourth cohort is complete, a third of Eden residents in the nine priority groups will have received the jab.
This week Health Secretary Matt Hancock urged people aged 70 and over who hadn’t been vaccinated to contact the NHS – advice which North Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group asked patients not to follow as letters inviting patients to the clinics were already on course.
However the move led some patients to travel elsewhere for the vaccination and meant spare doses of the vaccine were able to be offered in Eden to patients in the group five 65 to 69-year-old group.
Mrs Sives added that in Eden there has been a fantastic zero percent waste of the vaccine with every single dose administered.
The district is on track to move onto delivering the vaccination to the group five cohort as a whole from mid-February.
She added that so far Eden has not been affected in its supply of the vaccine despite the flow of vaccines having been thrown into doubt after the EU passed a regulation telling customs agents to block exports of COVID-19 vaccines to many richer countries including the UK unless they receive an export authorisation.
“The supplies have been less than we would have hoped for but that’s down to the manufacturers of the vaccine. We have a big population for our small island and we all have to have little to ensure all areas of England are covered equitably.
“In Eden we haven’t done too bad. Information coming through is saying we will see an increase in supply.”