The Covid-19 vaccine WILL be available in Tamworth next week, the town’s MP has tonight confirmed.
Christopher Pincher MP says the town will be able to “get on with the vaccination programme beginning with the four most vulnerable groups”.
There was a delay to residents receiving the vaccine in Tamworth due to “logistical circumstances” said to have been “outside the NHS’ control”.
But Mr Pincher tonight told BirminghamLive: “During the mobilisation of the Wave 1 community vaccination sites, some issues were experienced with some of the national logistical elements to support the vaccination programme, such as important equipment the vaccination centres might need and availability of staff to take delivery of the kit.
“Whilst this was clearly disappointing, given the programme is the biggest logistical exercise seen since the 1948 Berlin airlift and nothing of this scale has been tried since, some logistical challenges were to be expected.
“However, if there are to be problems, it is better we find them early on and deal with them. Having been in touch with our CCG and clinical professionals, I know we are ready to go at a local level, pending NHS England.
“And there is now good news – the vaccine will be available in Tamworth next week, so we can get on with the vaccination programme beginning with the four most vulnerable groups.
“The process to select and set up our local vaccine site is determined by NHS England who assess all the proposed sites across the country before approving them. Tamworth’s site has been approved and that is why the vaccine will arrive next week.
“Residents will be called up in the order decided by the Joint Committee on Vaccines and Immunology (JCVI), with those deemed most vulnerable called up first.
“Please follow the guidance from your GP surgeries – they will let you know when you, or your relative, will be vaccinated so please wait to hear from them. We have already heard that our own British “Oxford” vaccine was approved for use last week.
“In other good news a third vaccine has been approved in the United Kingdom today, with the Moderna vaccine adding to our vaccine rollout.
“We initially secured seven million doses, however today we have boosted this by an extra ten million. It will be joining the Pfizer vaccine, of which we have 40 million doses, and the “Oxford” vaccine of which we have 100 million doses.
“As they are manufactured, they will be distributed out across our country including to Tamworth.
“I strongly welcome confirmation that military logistics organisers are being used support delivery, as well as news that pharmacists will be used too.
“These are two topics many of you raised with me, and in turn I have raised with the Department for Health.
“Unfortunately, a lot of inaccurate “information” about pharmacies was reported in various news channels. I can assure you, having spoken to the Vaccines Minister, that the Government is keen and determined to make effective use of pharmacists and pharmacies in the delivery of the vaccine programme.
“A number have suggested the old John Lewis site would be good vaccine centre site.
“I agree – indeed back on December 3 I suggested this, but ultimately it is for NHS England and our local NHS response team to decide what facilities they see fit, and they have confirmed to me that they have identified more than enough sites required to achieve the Prime Minister’s ambitious goals.
“Vaccinating Tamworth’s population is the key to beating this terrible virus and I am encouraged in knowing that so many of my colleagues in Government, the NHS, the COVID-19 delivery teams are listening and reacting to local information.
“I hope this update has been helpful and I will continue to work with our national and local health authorities to get vaccines delivered quickly for Tamworth so we keep our foot on the accelerator and get our local people inoculated.
“Meanwhile, please remember to wait for information from your GP about our local vaccination timetable. Please continue to follow the Government guidance to protect yourself from this virus and encourage others to do the same.”