Patients in Millom are receiving the COVID-19 vaccine as part of the biggest NHS immunisation programme in history.
Local vaccination services run by GPs started last month and the latest phase of the roll-out in Morecambe Bay is being delivered by the primary care network for Barrow and Millom.
The Barrow and Millom network is working across two sites, the first initially established at a healthcare facility in Barrow and the second, most recently, at a GP surgery in Millom.
The PfizerBioNTech vaccine, which is being administered to patients over the age of 80, is being delivered over a three-day period at a GP surgery in Millom.
The patients who were identified as priority groups for the life-saving vaccine have been contacted by their GP surgery to book an appointment.
Marion Johnson, 81, was one of the first people to be vaccinated in Millom yesterday.
She said: “I was quite surprised to find out that I would be getting the vaccine so quickly and very glad to find out that it was being delivered in Millom.
“It was all very well organised and everyone was very cheerful. There were also a lot of volunteers there and it was amazing to see how many of them were outside helping, despite the awful weather.”
Marion, who has lived in Millom for most of her life, has three grandchildren and is very much looking forward to seeing her family again.
She said: “I have one granddaughter in London and another in Manchester, which means that one sister hasn’t been able to see the other sister in almost a year.
“Having the vaccine means that hopefully we can get back to some sort of normality and be able to mix with our family and friends again.”
Primary care teams have been working rapidly to redesign sites and put in place safe processes to meet the tough logistical challenges of offering the vaccination.
Dr Richard Walker, GP partner at Waterloo House GP Surgery and clinical lead for Barrow and Millom ICC said: “Due to the location of Millom and how rural it is, I’m happy to say that we have managed to secure an additional site for the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine so it can be administered locally, and our patients won’t have to travel far.
“We’re excited to be involved in this piece of work and as a practice we’re keen to deliver this service locally.
“We’re also very grateful for the support of the local volunteers, the town council and our own staff for making this happen.
“It shows the strength of our local community in working together in these challenging times.
“I would strongly encourage all of our patients to come and be vaccinated when they are called for.
“The sooner we all get the vaccine, the sooner we will be able to get back to normality.”
The NHS will let people know when it’s their turn to have the vaccine. It’s important not to contact the NHS for a vaccination before then.