FRONTLINE workers at Dorset County Hospital will begin to receive their second dose of the coronavirus vaccine next week.

The Dorchester-based hospital, which employs around 2,800 people, has been administering the first jab to its frontline staff since early December as well as other healthcare workers in the area.

Professor Alastair Hutchison, chief medical officer at Dorset County Hospital, confirmed that the next wave of jabs will start on Monday, March 8.

He said: “We would be planning to do 2,000 vaccinations a week but it also involves staff at Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust, and also healthcare staff at Dorset Council.

“The first time around, it took us seven weeks to get through everyone and I think that will be the same case this time around.”

Bournemouth Echo: Dorset County HospitalDorset County Hospital

Frontline staff have received the Pfizer BionTech vaccine, however a small number are yet to receive the jab due to concerns about allergic reactions, including anaphylactic shock. These affected workers will instead receive a dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Prof Hutchison said there has been a ‘huge effort’ at Dorset County Hospital to carry out the vaccination programme and adds staff ‘have learned a lot about doing it quickly and effectively'.

Prof Hutchison also noted that hospital staff are likely to be involved in the vaccination programme for another three months and observed ‘we might need another vaccination campaign in the Autumn if new variants appear and people need another vaccine or booster shot.”

Frontline workers make up approximately 85 per cent of the employees at the hospital. Prof Hutchison said frontline workers are defined by many NHS Trusts as those ‘who come into contact with patients in a working week’.