'We're on target to deliver 135,000 Covid jabs in Northamptonshire by mid-February,' says NHS chief

More than 20,000 vaccinations have already been delivered across the county

NHS staff are winning a "race against time" to deliver 135,000 Covid-19 jabs in Northamptonshire in just 11 weeks.

Hospital bosses say more than 20,000 vaccinations have already been delivered in less than four weeks since the roll-out started in Northamptonshire.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson set the county target of nearly 2,000 vaccinations a day among the most at-risk groups by the middle of February.

Nurses at Northampton General Hospital issued the first jabs in the county on December 8.

And NHS Northamptonshire Clinical Commissioning Group Chief Executive, Toby Sanders, told today's meeting of the County Council Oversight Board: "By the end of January 6, we had already managed to deliver over 20,000 vaccines to staff and to our priority cohort population — the over 80s and care home residents.

"The national ambition is to vaccinate all the first four priority cohorts by middle of February. For Northamptonshire that's about 135,000 people so we've already made a really good step towards that and the pace is going to step up over the next few weeks.

"The way out of this nationally and locally is the speed at which we can roll out the vaccination programme.

Pathologist Gus Lusack is one of the first to receive the Covid-19 vaccine at NGH last month. Photo: NGH

"It is a race against time to deliver this as rapidly as we can. We're currently delivering vaccines through three routes with another one to come on stream very soon.

"I'm delighted that we are making really good progress across Northamptonshire and that is testament to the enormous amount of work across a whole range of health and local government partners.

"GP teams have been working night and day to make sure we can roll it out as quick as we can."

People are being offered vaccinations in accordance with a detailed list set out by experts from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation who studied data on who who is at highest risk of death. The list is as follows:

■ Residents in a care home for older adults and their carers

■ All those 80 years of age and over and front line health and social care workers

■ All those 75 years of age and over

■ All those 70 years of age and over and people deemed to be clinically extremely vulnerable

■ All those 65 years of age and over

■ All individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality

■ All those 60 years of age and over

■ All those 55 years of age and over

■ All those 50 years of age and over.

Hospital hubs at Northampton and Kettering began delivering the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine to over-80s and healthcare workers — not just NHS, but care home workers as well — before Christmas.

They will shortly have been be joined by all 16 primary care network sites set up to provide vaccination services to patients registered with all GP practices across Northamptonshire.

More jabs are being currently delivered into care homes using the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

And delivery will be ramped up further when a larger vaccination centre opens towards the end of January providing significant additional capacity both for staff and potentially in the longer run of the public as well.

The PM announced the ambition to inoculate 13.9million people nationally in a televised address on Monday when he also confirmed a third national lockdown.

He said vaccinating those most vulnerable to Covid-19 would allow the Government to begin considering easing restrictions.