HEALTH chiefs in Dorset have said the county is on track to provide Covid vaccinations for the first four priority groups by the mid-February target, subject to supply.

Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said that close to two thirds (almost 65 per cent) of over 80s and 68 per cent of elderly people in care homes have been vaccinated.

The government has set a goal of providing a first vaccine dose by February 15 to:

  • Residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
  • All those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers
  • All those 75 years of age and over
  • All those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals

Dorset CCG said vaccinations are being in line with national guidance and the authority to thank those involved in the rollout so far. 

This includes volunteers, vaccinators and a range of other health care professionals involved in delivering the vaccine.

Within a few weeks of setting about the vaccination effort, GP-led local vaccination services have been launched across all 18 primary care networks, hospital hubs, and roving vaccination teams for care homes and the housebound.

Dorset is also among the first areas in the country to have community pharmacies offer the vaccine.

The large vaccination centre at the Bournemouth International Centre (BIC) opened its doors on Monday.

As reported, a cumulative total of 68,693 vaccine jabs had been given to people across the county up to Sunday, January 17.

This breaks down as 60,195 first jabs and 8,498 second jabs. Of the second jabs administered, 6,970 were given to people aged 80 and over.

According to the data, 51,697 Dorset residents had received just their first jab.

Dorset GP doctor Karen Kirkham is the Clinical lead for the Dorset Covid-19 vaccination programme and assistant clinical director of Dorset CCG.

She has been on the frontline herself delivering jabs.

Dr Kirkham said: “The vaccination programme in Dorset is off to a strong start. We have made incredible progress in a very short space of time since the vaccination - which is safe and effective - first became available.

"We’d like to thank the entire Dorset team who have done an incredible job to deliver what is the largest vaccination programme in our history.

“This has been an incredible effort by everyone involved. It is thanks to the tireless work of the whole team across Dorset, and the support of local people.

“Our ambition, if supplies allow, is to have offered vaccines to the most vulnerable by the middle of February.

“The roll out is good news, but we cannot afford to be complacent.

"The large increase in cases hospitals are seeing and the emergence of a new variant of the virus also shows that we cannot let our guard down now, and even those who have received a vaccine still need to follow all the same guidance as everyone else to help protect others."

Dorset CCG is asking residents to play their part by:

  • Continuing to follow all the guidance to control the virus and save lives – that means staying at home as much as possible and following the ‘hands, face, space’ guidance when out
  • Not contacting the NHS to seek a vaccine, they will contact residents
  • Attending booked appointments once they have been contacted

For this reason, we have created a central source of information about the programme, including frequently asked questions, news updates, and a list of vaccination sites: