UHNM opens as one of first UK Covid-19 vaccination hubs
The hub will focus on vaccinating patients who are aged 80 or over and care home workers first, as well as NHS staff who have been assessed as being at highest risk of serious illness from COVID-19.
The first patient to be vaccinated was great granddad Alan Stevenson, 81 from Blythe Bridge.
He said: “It’s been a hard time, as it has been for everyone, and now that I have had this vaccine and when I have the booster I hope I will be immune against the virus and try and get some normality back. It’s quite a surprise and very exciting to be the first at the Royal Stoke and I’m delighted to have had it.”
Mark Mills, 82, from the Westlands in Newcastle under Lyme received his vaccine at the Hospital Hub at Royal Stoke University Hospital.
Today he said he was taking the vaccine for his wife to help protect those around him. He said: “I am a lucky one, one of the first geriatric ones. The needle bit, I hardly even knew it happened. So really it was very easy, straight forward, and I have given blood many times in my lifetime along with many other vaccinations. I’m so overwhelmed at the amount of organisation that will have to take place to administer all of these Covid jabs to all the people that want it. Even though I have had this injection, we are not taking it for granted, and we are still being cautious, there is definitely light at the end of the tunnel.”
His wife Vivian, 72, said: “We have been very isolated, we have a family that are terrified of giving it to us, but we are very lucky that we get on well with each other, that we have a nice house and a nice garden, our garden has been my salvation. We are very lucky and very blessed to be here today. I have limited where I have been or what I have done, but I haven’t allowed Mark to come with me. He is too precious. We have come so far and we wouldn’t want to jeopardise it now, nor at Christmas. We are not going to be with family at Christmas, it is not worth taking the risk. As soon as I am called I will be first in the queue. We are looking forward to normality and our family not being frightened to see us, we have a thirteen-year- old granddaughter in a large secondary school and she is very worried, along with my daughter, about passing it on.”
People aged 80 and over, as well as care home workers, will be first to receive the jab, along with NHS workers who are at higher risk.
Also receiving their vaccine today was care home worker and mother of one Rosealyn Buxton, 55, from Sneyd Green, who works at Gorsfield care home.
Rosealyn said: “I feel honoured and privileged to be the first care home worker to receive the vaccine. It took less than a second to have it done and it didn’t hurt. I was asked last week if I would like to have it done, so I had to fill a form in with my name, address, doctor and then I had confirmation that it was going to be today. At first I was a bit undecided, as it is something new that I have never been in involved in before, but I want to protect my family, friends and my work colleagues.”
Rosealyn has worked in care for a number of years. After taking a break from the profession she decided to return to caring after losing her father.
Rosealyn said: “It’s been very busy since everything happened with Covid, but you do get job satisfaction. We haven’t had any cases at the home, it’s been very good. It’s been heart-breaking for the residents without visitors, as the only people they are getting to see are the staff. They all have capacity to understand what is going on. I hope the vaccine will get rid of the virus. All I can do is hope. I’m used to wearing full PPE now, we do it to protect the residents and the staff. We have 16 residents and there’s normally three staff on each shift. We have all pulled together and worked as a good team. We have done really well not to have any cases. It’s because we have all stuck to the rules by going to work and going home and only going out when we need to.”
All those vaccinated will need a booster jab 21 days later.
The hospital will contact those that are eligible for a vaccination to arrange an appointment. Please do not contact the hospital to try and arrange an appointment until they have contacted you.
Tracy Bullock, UHNM Chief Executive said: “We are delighted to be one of the first places in the UK to receive and administer the vaccine. It represents a momentous step in the UK’s response to the coronavirus.
“It is good news but this is just the start of a long vaccination programme and I would urge the public to keep following government guidance and the principles of Hands, Face, Space to continue to protect themselves and the community against the spread of the virus.”
Neil Carr, Senior Responsible Officer for the COVID-19 Vaccination programme, said: “This is a landmark moment for the NHS and science. I would like to thank clinicians and staff, across all health and care partners, for their hard work and enthusiasm, which has helped ensure we are among the first 50 systems to offer the vaccine for patients.
“Today is the first step in the largest vaccination programme the NHS has ever seen and will take several months to complete. We’re working hard to roll out the vaccines to priority groups, as more vaccine becomes available, and we hope further sites will be added in the coming weeks.”
More information can be found here: