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'Many thousands' vaccinated in Royal Borough

‘Many thousands of people’ have been vaccinated from COVID in the Royal Borough, with ‘very tiny’ levels of wastage, a meeting heard this week.

At a council COVID outbreak and engagement board on Monday, members heard from NHS representative Caroline Farrar, a managing director for the Frimley Collaborative.

This organisation consists of three clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), including East Berkshire.

Ms Farrar gave councillors and the public an update on the vaccination programme across the borough, with sites available for people to receive the jab at three locations in the area: Maidenhead Town Hall, Windsor Racecourse, and Bracknell’s Waitrose, which covers Ascot residents.

“We have made the offer of a vaccine to all people in cohorts one to four, through those three sites,” Ms Farrar said, adding she has seen ‘good levels of uptake’ for the life-saving injection.

“We do have many thousands of people that have already been vaccinated in the Royal Borough.”

Elsewhere, people in the borough have been vaccinated at the nearby mass Salt Hill Centre in Slough, as well as Marlow Pharmacy.

Ms Farrar reiterated the importance of people, in the first four chorts only, to make contact with the NHS if they have not received their first jab yet.

This week, the Government moved on to the next set of people eligible for the vaccine, which includes those aged 65-69 and the clinically vulnerable people over 16.

A milestone was reached on Monday after 15million people were given a first jab, the vast majority of which were within cohorts one to four.

Ms Farrar said that GPs are still waiting for more Government guidance related to cohort six, the clinically vulnerable, but added: “We are expecting that this week.”

Councillor Stuart Carroll (Con, Boyn Hill), the council’s lead member for health, asked whether there had been any wastage of the vaccine.

Ms Farrar said: “Our actual levels of wastage are really very tiny and we are not throwing vaccine away locally in the Frimley system.”

National media reports have also caused concern that some vaccines may not be suitable for the older population, but Ms Farrar brushed away these claims.

“All the available vaccines have to be approved – everybody should be reassured whatever vaccine they get, it will be highly effective and protect them from COVID.”

Later in the meeting, Cllr Carroll said it was ‘too early’ to be able to see the vaccine impacting on the number of COVID infections, after Cllr Samantha Rayner (Con, Eton and Castle) had enquired about this.

The meeting did hear, however, that data was beginning to exhibit a ‘general decrease’ in the rate of infection.

“It may be, at this point, contributing to some extent, but it is just too early to say,” Cllr Carroll said.

Vaccinations for staff working at special education schools was also discussed at the meeting. Read more on that here. 

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