More than 700 Somerset County Council staff have stepped up to support the enormous challenge of rolling out the county’s biggest ever vaccination programme.
SCC has been working alongside many partners to support the creation and logistics behind Somerset’s coronavirus vaccination centres, with more than 700 staff offering to support the NHS in any way they can.
This week saw the first community GP-led sites begin vaccinations and follows last week’s launch of the Somerset NHS vaccination programme in hospital hubs, such as Yeovil District Hospital.
Further plans are being drawn up to ensure the vaccine is available from other locations in the county and it is likely that when fully operational, sites will operate seven days a week and require a considerable staffing resource.
Cllr David Fothergill, Somerset County Council Leader, said: “It is no surprise to see our staff step forward once again to support our NHS colleagues in this incredible challenge. They’ve shown throughout this pandemic a hugely flexible and proactive approach, leading the Public Health response, supporting our most vulnerable residents, and helping keep our infection rates among the lowest in the country. It is great news we now have a live vaccination programme in Somerset and I’m extremely proud to see our staff playing a key role.
“Because of this brilliant response, some council services may be slower, paused or delayed due to redeployment, but I want to assure everyone that all essential services, such as those looking after vulnerable people, will be protected at all times. Where services are affected I ask for a bit of patience, I’m sure people will understand that council priorities have to change to help support the NHS.”
SCC are currently looking to redeploy staff to help with management and supervision, as well as significant numbers of staff to provide reception and “front of house” duties as well as supporting the general admin tasks that are needed.
Across the health sector and SCC, there are around 1,000 staff offering up extra shifts, temporary redeployments or full secondments to rise to the challenge.
People who have been identified by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) as the highest priority will be invited for vaccinations first, including over-80s and health and care staff. There is no need for you to contact your local NHS services to be vaccinated, they will contact you when it is your turn and you will be given all the information that you need for your appointment.
For more information on the NHS vaccination in Somerset please visit: https://www.somersetccg.nhs.uk/health/local-services/health-services-during-coronavirus/covid-19-vaccinations-in-somerset/
For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine please visit: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/coronavirus-vaccine/
And don’t forget the Coronavirus single helpline is available if anyone in your community needs help and support in these times. The number is 0300 790 6275.