Covid-19 vaccine: North Devon sites to be announced ‘within days’

Image showing hands wearing disposable gloves holding coronavirus vaccine vials

There is a phased roll out of Covid vaccination sites in Devon. Picture: Getty - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Plans are under way for Covid-19 vaccination sites in North Devon but the region was not part of the first wave rolled out yesterday (Tuesday, December 15). 
The first phase of vaccination centres at GP surgeries in the county saw eight sites announced including Exmouth, Plymouth, Torbay and Okehampton. 
These serve the patients at a total of 49 GP practices, according to the NHS in Devon. 
Sites in North Devon where the vaccine will be administered are expected to be announced in the next few days. 
A spokesperson told the Gazette this was only the first phase, with a second group of sites to be announced in the coming days and phases three and four in the next few weeks. 
The NHS in Devon said those eligible to receive the vaccine at phase two sites can expect a call from now on, but people have been told to wait for the call and not try and contact the NHS themselves. 
They said: “Plans for the vaccination programme in Northern Devon are well advanced with project partners working day and night to finalise arrangements ready for vaccination services to begin in this part of the county.  
“Once the relevant assurance processes have been completed, sites will take delivery of vaccines and begin vaccinating patients, and we will be in a position to confirm those sites within days.” 
The mammoth national vaccination program began this week, led by NHS England and Improvement. 
The first groups set to receive the vaccine are the most vulnerable, including care home residents, those aged over 80 and NHS and care staff. 
News North Devon is not among the first areas to receive the vaccine has been greeted with annoyance. 
North Devon Council leader, Councillor David Worden, said: “I’m disappointed that, especially given the older demographic in North Devon, we haven’t been considered for the vaccine roll-out.  
“We have already offered Barnstaple Leisure Centre as a site that is available immediately. We’ll be pushing hard to secure the provision local people deserve and we all call on the Conservative MP to do the same.” 
Barnstaple county councillor Brian Greenslade added: “We hear about vaccination arrangements for Plymouth, Torbay and East Devon but nothing is being said about vaccination arrangements for Northern Devon. 
“I appreciate the NHS have hell of a problem getting the population vaccinated. But as so often is the case Northern Devon seems to be at the end of the queue when it comes to resources being deployed. 
“There is a very large older population in Northern Devon who need vaccination asp. 
“The lack of any information being made about vaccination arrangements is troubling people in my part of Devon. I call on the NHS powers that be to give Northern Devon residents early reassurance that their Covid-19 vaccination arrangements are coming soon and let us know when and where vaccinations will be carried out.”
 

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