Covid One Year On: Record-breaking vaccination week for Cambridgeshire

More than 2,000 16-17 year olds have received their Covid-19 vaccination in just five days. 

Record-breaking vaccination week for Cambridgeshire - Credit: Archant

It is hard to imagine that this time two years ago Covid-19 was set to change our lives in so many ways. 

What has become a rollercoaster of highs and lows – from the arrival of the vaccine to the devastating deaths of loved ones – it is clear that the virus flipped life as we knew it upside down. 

As we go into 2022 facing the possibility of more restrictions, we remember to draw strength from our communities and the amazing work of hospital staff, carers, shop workers and everyone working tirelessly to get us back to some sort of normality. 

From virtual fundraising runs to meeting friends under the rule-of-six in the park, we started 2021 in hope that our vaccination drive would reduce the wave of the virus. 

In recent weeks Cambridgeshire has become an Enhanced Response Area (ERA) and Jyoti Atri, the county’s director of public health, has expressed her concerns for residents due to the rapid spread of Omicron.

Last week vaccination teams in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough vaccinated a record-breaking 72,000 patients, smashing the previous record of 66,000 vaccines delivered in one week in January 2021. 

The record-breaking effort came as all NHS Hospital Trusts across the area reopened their vaccination centres, offering bookable booster slots to thousands of patients in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough in their first few days of operating alone. 

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Meanwhile, local GP practices have also ramped up their incredible efforts even further, delivering 300 per cent more vaccinations than they had in previous weeks.

Dr Gary Howsam, chair of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “I’m incredibly grateful to all of the teams who have worked tirelessly together to deliver this new record-breaking week for our local Covid-19 vaccination programme. 

“GP practices, pharmacies, hospital and community NHS teams, volunteers, local authorities and the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group are all working at record speed to deliver thousands more boosters to local patients every single day.

"All adults are now eligible to get their booster, so please book yours online today or call 119. 

“Remember: If you haven’t yet had your first or second dose, it’s never too late. Please do come forward and get your vaccine today – it could save your life.” 

Just one year ago a local retired care home worker got the first Covid-19 vaccine in the area at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.  

Since then, nearly 1.6 million Covid-19 doses have been delivered locally through the combined efforts of community pharmacy teams, GP practices, NHS trusts and the CCG as well as an amazing pool of volunteers, community groups, local authority and fire service staff all working together to offer local communities the protection they need. 

From reception teams and safety marshals to administrators and clinicians providing oversight, every single person working at vaccination sites in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough has played an absolutely vital role in the vaccination programme over the past year.

Partners across the system are now working together to offer thousands of booster vaccinations every week, on top of the evergreen offer of first and second doses for those people who have yet to come forward to get their vaccine. 

Dr David Vickers, medical director for Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust which runs the large-scale vaccination centres across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, added: 

“Since our first vaccination centre opened in January 2021, our amazing staff and volunteers have delivered well over one million doses of the vaccine in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and Norfolk and Waveney, protecting thousands of people every day and giving them hope for a brighter future. 

"It’s simply inspirational and my heartfelt thanks go to each of them. 

“We really need more staff and volunteers to work in our centres to deliver even more protection to our communities, so please do get in touch if you’d like to be part of the biggest vaccination programme in NHS history.” 

People across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough can visit www.thevaccinators.co.uk to find a walk-in COVID-19 vaccination venue near them, or book appointments through the National Booking Service via www.nhs.uk/covidvaccine or by calling 119.