A pioneering programme to deliver vaccines to people across Copeland in the fight against coronavirus has been praised by the area’s MP.
Trudy Harrison, MP for Copeland, hailed a ‘pivotal moment’ for West Cumberland Hospital this week after being selected along with 49 other hospitals to administer the new COVID-19 vaccine.
Those aged 80 and over, care home workers and NHS workers who are at higher risk will be the first to receive the vaccination.
The hospital will begin inviting those eligible in for a jab whilst working with care home providers to book their staff in to vaccination clinics – GPs and other primary care staff are also being put on standby to start delivering the jab.
Mrs Harrison said: “It is testament to the incredible work and collaboration of our NHS work force, scientific community and global leaders including the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, along with military support, that we are now at the beginning of a pioneering programme to immunise the country against COVID-19.
“This is a breakthrough moment for West Cumbria Hospital and North Cumbria trust and I would like to commend the team and all involved for their selfless determination, working day and night in preparation for the roll out of this historic programme.
“As cases continue to decrease and communities start to receive the vaccine, we take a step closer to a return to normality, which I’m sure my constituents are eager to see.
The life-saving vaccine is typically delivered by a simple injection in the shoulder but there is a complex and difficult logistical challenge to deliver from the manufacturers Pfizer to patients.
It needs to be stored at -70C before being thawed out and can only be moved four times within that cold chain before being used.
NHS staff have been working over the weekend to prepare the sites and accept deliveries
As of this morning, case rates per 100,000 across Copeland stand at 42.5, 70.6 in Allerdale and 66.8 across Cumbria.
The percentage change on the previous seven days prior to December 1 stands at -51.7% in Copeland, -9.2% in Allerdale and -37.2% across Cumbria.