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People must stay vigilant as first Covid-19 vaccinations underway in Dudley

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People living in the Black Country have started to receive Covid-19 vaccines, with the roll out being warmly welcomed by Dudley borough’s health chiefs.

Across England, thousands of people began to receive the vaccine for the first time last week, with the majority of doses initially being given to those aged 80 and over and frontline health and social care workers.

To date the vaccines in the region have been delivered from hospital hubs but it has been confirmed this week that Northway Medical Centre in Sedgley and Feldon Lane Medical Practice in Halesowen will be administering jabs over the coming weeks.

Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member for health and wellbeing at Dudley Council, has said the vaccines could mark the beginning of the end of the coronavirus pandemic but he has warned that everyone must continue to do all they can to stop the spread of the virus. He said:

This is a fantastic development in what has been a hugely challenging time for our communities, and it could mark the beginning of the end for the pandemic.
The NHS will be in touch with people as and when they become eligible for the vaccine via GPs, healthcare professionals and employers, and when you are invited to get yours, I would strongly advise you to have it.
For now, though, we have to face the fact that Covid-19 is still very much with us – and so it's incredibly important that people continue to do everything it takes to stop the spread of the virus.
That means carrying on following the Hands, Face, Space guidance by washing your hands regularly, wearing a face covering where required and staying 2m apart from anyone who isn't a member of your household or bubble. Our residents and businesses must also continue with adhering to the Tier 3 restrictions that are currently in place.
It also means we all need to think carefully before forming Christmas bubbles and taking advantage of the more lenient rules that are in place from December 23 to 27. We need to ask ourselves whether the risk is really worth it and can we consider virtual get togethers as an alternative this year.

Vaccinations will be rolled out to other groups over the coming months, initially to those deemed to be at greatest risk of Covid-19 because of age or underlying health conditions, and then to the wider population.

People will be identified by the NHS and contacted directly, there is no need for people to contact their pharmacy or GP.

Sally Roberts, Chief Nurse, Black Country and West Birmingham CCGs, said:

We know some people within our communities are much more at risk than others from the serious complications of Covid-19, which is why the new vaccine is being prioritised to protect them first.
Over the coming weeks we will stand up more hospital hubs and vaccination services from local GPs to ensure that all our communities have access to the Covid-19 vaccine. Vaccination centres treating large numbers of patients will subsequently stand up when further supplies of the vaccine become available, we will confirm these sites when we are able to do so.
We will be in touch with those eligible for a vaccine as soon as we have appointments available, there is no need for people to contact their pharmacy or GP.

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