The first round of Coronavirus vaccinations is due to start today (Tuesday 8 December) in Bristol.
Southmead – run by North Bristol Trust – is one of a 50 hospital hubs in the UK where people aged 80 and above, care home workers and NHS workers at higher risk will be the first to be vaccinated..
North Bristol Trust’s medical director Chris Burton said: “We are pleased to be part of this historic moment by delivering the first coronavirus vaccinations in our area as a hospital hub.
“The vaccine programme represents our best defence against the virus alongside effective social distancing, wearing a mask and hand hygiene.
“Hospital hubs will be just one of several options for how and where the vaccine will be delivered in our area as more locations become available soon…”
He thanked staff and local partner health and care organisations for their hard work “in mobilising this vaccination programme so quickly to keep our local communities safe”.
People are being urged not to try to get in touch with the hospital for a vaccine – but will be contacted when it is their turn.
Regional vaccination centre
A regional vaccination centre has also been set up at Ashton Gate Stadium – home to Bristol City FC and Bristol Bears Rugby – by the army.
Using part of the stadium, thousands of people across the city and from neighbouring North Somerset and South Gloucestershire will be vaccinated each week.
The centre is expected to be open 12 hours a day and operate until 5 April.
The project is being led by the local NHS clinical commissioning group.
NHS national medical director, Professor Stephen Powis, said “despite the huge complexities”, hospitals would be kickstarting “the first phase of the largest scale vaccination campaign in our country’s history”.
He said: “The NHS has a strong record of delivering large scale vaccination programmes – from the flu jab, HPV vaccine and lifesaving MMR jabs – hardworking staff will once again rise to the challenge to protect the most vulnerable people from this awful disease.”
With rising cases in the city, Bristol has been in Tier 3 (very high alert) since the end of lockdown on 2 December.