Sheffield GP in one of UK's worst-hit Covid areas shares exciting vaccinations update
A Sheffield GP in an area with one of the UK’s biggest Covid death tolls has shared some exciting news about Covid vaccinations.
Dr Jennie Joyce is clinical director of the Foundry Primary Care Network, which cares for patients across Burngreave, Pitsmoor, Page Hall and Wincobank.
Its catchment area includes the Crabtree and Fir Vale neighbourhood, where at one point during the first wave more people had died with coronavirus than anywhere else in England and Wales.
There were a number of reasons for that, including the fact it is one of the country’s most deprived communities with a lower than average life expectancy, but the virus spreading at the area’s many care homes is understood to have been a significant factor.
Dr Joyce has now revealed that by the end of this week staff are on course to have completed Covid vaccinations at every care home in the area, which has the highest concentration of them in the city, ensuring elderly residents have the protection they need against the virus.
She also described how the majority of people over 80 within the area had been given their jabs and injections had started for over-75s and over-70s there, with nearly 4,000 first doses having been administered.
"We’ve nearly done all the care homes now, with just one left to do, which is great because that’s been one of our really big pushes,” she said on Tuesday evening.
"Our staff have been amazing. Not just our GPs, doctors and managers, who have all gone above and beyond to get this done, but the admin staff too, who are often the unsung heroes and have worked so hard booking people in for appointments.
"We’ve had days of intense rain and days of snow, with our manager having to clear the car park of ice just last week to make it safe.
"But everybody’s been mucking in to do what we can to protect people and keep moving towards that light at the end of the tunnel where things are a bit more positive.
"The community’s been great too, with people wanting to get the vaccine, and when we had all the snow and ice they were walking for however long it took to get here.”
The Foundry network is vaccinating people at Flowers Health Centre in Wincobank, which became one of the first surgeries in Sheffield to begin giving jabs before Christmas.
Dr Joyce said staff could be vaccinating more people if the supply was available but she had been assured it should improve.
She also had a message for anyone who is concerned about getting vaccinated.
"All the evidence shows that this is a safe and effective vaccine so if you’re invited you should come and get it done,” she said.
"I understand people may have concerns due to a lot of what’s going around on social media but that’s not based on the science and the evidence.
“With all the thousands of people we’ve vaccinated so far, we haven’t had any problems.”