As the city celebrates one year of Covid-19 vaccinations, Liverpool City Council and Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) share their thanks to all who have been vaccinated, and praise for staff and volunteers who have helped administer the vaccine.
On 8 December 2020, exactly one year ago today, Liverpool’s very first covid-19 vaccines were administered at Aintree University Hospital. A year on, 790,000 vaccines have now been administered to people in the city – including first and second doses and boosters.
The COVID-19 vaccination has been the most ambitious and largest scale immunisation programme ever delivered by the NHS, and some key achievements for Liverpool include:
24 permanent local vaccination sites have been set up in different communities across Liverpool, led by local Primary Care Networks (PCNs) which are groups of GP practices working together, as well as community pharmacies, and Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (LUHFT).
Hospital-based vaccination hubs have also supported vaccinations for health and social care staff, as well as patient vaccinations.
A roving vaccination team was established by Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust’s community nursing teams to provide home visitsfor housebound patients, and other vulnerable groups such as refugees, asylum seekers, and those with learning difficulties who may have struggled to access vaccinations elsewhere.
Staff and residents in all of Liverpool’s care home settings have had all their first, second, and booster doses completed, supported by visits from Primary Care Networks.
The booster programme is now well underway across the city, with 74% of all eligible adults having received their booster dose so far to help ensure that people’s immunity doesn’t wane over winter.
School-based vaccination clinics provided by Mersey Care’s schoolimmunisation teams have visited every second school across the city this term to provide easy access to vaccines for all 12-15 year olds, and will be beginning second doses soon.
Extra ‘pop-up’ clinics have so far been delivered in 27 other temporary venues such as local mosques, churches, and community centres to help improve access to vaccination amongst communities where take up was lower.
The city’s vaccination bus delivered in partnership between the local NHS, LiverpoolCity Council and Arriva, has provided 48 community outreach events across 18 different locations and has vaccinated over 10,000 people – many of whom would not have been vaccinated otherwise
Dr Fiona Lemmens, local GP and Chair of NHS Liverpool CCG said: “Looking back, it’s hard to believe how far we’ve come over the past year, since those very first vaccinations were given. An incredible 72% of all adults in Liverpool have now had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and more than 91% of the most vulnerable patients in our city have been fully vaccinated against covid.
This is a huge achievement, which has undoubtedly saved many lives – and we really want to say a huge thank you to all those NHS staff, vaccinators and volunteers who have been working tirelessly over the past 12 months to help make this possible.”
Cllr Frazer Lake, Cabinet Member for Social Care and Heath said: “I am incredibly proud of how our city has come together to protect each other during this pandemic. A year into our vaccination programme is not only a time to celebrate, but a time to reflect too. Liverpool is still behind other areas regarding uptake, and we know there are inequalities in the city, which is why the council recently agreed to use the Covid response grant to commission a research project to better understand why some people remain vaccine hesitant, and to develop community-based solutions.
Being vaccinated against Covid-19 reduces the risk of getting seriously ill and needing medical help – which then takes the pressure off frontline healthcare services. Our hospitals and primary health care settings continue to face challenges from Covid-19 and other winter illnesses, so the easiest way to support our NHS is to get vaccinated.
I want to remind people that it’s never too late to get their first vaccine, and not to worry if it’s been longer than 8 weeks between doses – you can still take up your offer.”
Matt Ashton, Director of Public Health, Liverpool City Council said: “What has been achieved through the COVID-19 vaccination programme is a truly remarkable example of what effective partnership working can achieve.
We want to thank people for coming forward for their vaccines, as it significantly reduces the risk of serious illness and hospitalisation; however, it is still a concern that 25% local people haven’t taken up the offer of vaccination and remain unprotected.
The risk of COVID-19 has not gone away, so whether you’re due a first, second or booster jab, remember its free, safe, and effective, and should be taken up regardless of prior infection.
With the colder weather, people are now spending more time inside, and with rapidly rising cases and the Omicron variant now in circulation, it’s really important to protect yourself and your loved ones ahead of Christmas by getting vaccinated, wearing face coverings in crowded spaces, washing your hands and testing regularly with rapid lateral flow tests.”
Anyone eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination can get one now by booking an appointment or finding their nearest drop-in clinic – go to: www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or call 119.
A list of temporary pop up clinics and vaccination events happening in and around Liverpool can be found here.
Anyone who is aged 40 or over, or at high risk of serious illness from COVID-19, is eligible for a booster jab six months after their second dose, to help give them longer-term protection against getting seriously ill from COVID-19.
This offer is also due to be extended to everyone aged 18 + very soon. he NHS will let you know when it’s your turn to have a booster, and how to access it – either by letter, text or phone call.
Many people who can get a COVID-19 booster vaccine are eligible for the annual flu vaccine to help keep them well this winter too. If you are offered both vaccines, it’s safe to have them at the same time. You can find out if you’re eligible here.