York vaccination chief: We’re on course to give all over-70s the jab by mid February – and all over-50s by Easter

20 Jan 2021 @ 12.52 pm
| News

There was another milestone at the York vaccination hub today (Wednesday).

It was the first day that both the local service and the national NHS service were running together on the former Askham Bar park and ride site.

On Monday and Tuesday, just the national service was operating.

The extra numbers travelling to the site meant there were traffic delays getting to the car park today. Operator Nimbuscare has apologised and asked people to be patient.

And Prof Mike Holmes, chair of Nimbuscare and clinical lead for the NHS Vaccination Centre, revealed how it was going in an interview on YorkMix Radio.

On both Monday and Tuesday, about 1,000 people were vaccinated at the site, he said. They’ve completed more than 12,000 vaccinations so far.

But he expected the team to vaccinate 2,300 people today – with a view to increasing the capacity to more than 3,000 people daily in the next few weeks.

He also told Breakfast Show presenter Ben Fry:

  • they had ambitious targets to vaccinate all York’s over-70s by mid February
  • and all over-50s by Easter
  • and he was confident about the continuity of supplies.

Listen to the full YorkMix Radio interview

Dr Mike on…

…how many vaccinations at Askham Bar

“We’ll certainly have done more than 12,000 vaccinations already. And with the addition of the national vaccination centre, we’re able to vaccinate around 3,000 patients per day.

“We’re slowly moving up to that. Today will be the biggest day so far. And we’re aiming to vaccinate 2,300 people today alone, on the Askham Bar site.

“And I think over the next few weeks, we’ll see that capacity increase in excess of 3,000.”

…when people in York will be vaccinated

“We’re already starting to invite people in the 75 to 79 category to the local service, and I’m sure you’ve seen in the press this week that the government are starting to invite the over 70s to the national centres.

“So we’re slowly moving through the cohort. I think we’re well on target in the city of York to meet the government’s target of all the over-70s by the middle of February.

“There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to do that. In fact, I think we’ll comfortably do it.

“I’d like to think we could get the vast majority, if not all, of our over-50s in the population done by Easter.”

…concerns over vaccine supplies

“What I can say now is that the supply is becoming a lot more stable. We’re getting to know roughly how many we’re getting per week, and certainly through the national centre, that supply seems really good.

“So I know I’ve definitely got into vaccines to run the service in the way I want to run it for at least the next two weeks. And that’s better than it was in the previous two weeks, which gives me optimism for every week moving forward.

“So we’re confident. And we’re also not naive to think there will be issues, there won’t be challenges. But if the whole system works together we can get through those challenges. And we’ve got a real desire and a real need to get those vaccines into the population.”