Patients at Walsall Manor Hospital were today able to receive their Covid-19 vaccinations as part of the national immunisation drive to protect the most vulnerable.
Among them were Ron Edis aged 75 who has been in hospital since Christmas Day following an accident.
The retired Managing Director of Brownhills has four grandchildren.
“The youngest is one and I’ve only seen him once so it’s important to have the vaccine,” said Ron, who says has received “excellent” care on Ward 14, after never being ill before!
Raymond Keogh, aged 92, who admits he’s missing “home cooked food” after being in hospital for a couple of weeks also received his vaccine today.
Covid-19 vaccines arrived at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust on 7 December and Walsall Manor Hospital Hub was the first site in the Black Country and West Birmingham to start administering them to the over 80s and healthcare workers from Tuesday 8 December. The vaccines have to be kept at minus 70 degrees Celsius and can’t be transported around the site.
Caroline Whyte, Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, Interim Deputy Director of Nursing, said: “The priority has been to run the hospital hub, the first one in the Black Country, but we have now been able to maximise opportunities to be able to immunise vulnerable patients.
“The vaccine has presented us with some logistical challenges because of its storage and transportation – we can’t just take it off to wards, it has to be used efficiently and quickly and the storage temperature is a huge factor.
“Today we have given the vaccines to patients in Ward 14 and those using our Integrated Assessment Hub and we will also be focusing on our discharge lounge over the coming days and weeks. Patients have been really pleased to have the vaccination; they just want to stay as safe and well as they can and protect themselves against the virus, particularly with the new variant being so prevalent.”
The order in which people will receive the vaccine is decided by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) which has advised that age is the single greatest risk of mortality from COVID-19. After over 80+ year olds, priority healthcare staff will be amongst the first to be vaccinated.