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MP Matt Western has hailed health professionals in Warwick and Leamington who last week hit a milestone of 1,000 vaccines in a day.
The Labour MP visited the Leamington Rehabilitation Hospital in Heathcote Lane, Whitnash, on Sunday (January 24) to see how the vaccine roll out was progressing.
He met north and south Leamington Primary Care Network (PCN) chiefs who assured him that regional vaccination targets are on track to be met.
The rehabilitation hospital along with Lisle Court Medical Centre in Brunswick Street are being used as the area’s primary vaccination sites.
Staff are now delivering vaccines from 8am till 8pm, seven days a week – occasionally working later.
They are also visiting those who cannot get to hospital to vaccinate them in their homes.
The centres have delivered jabs to residents at all care homes across Leamington – bar one.
In total, the PCNs are vaccinating between 800 and 1,000 people per day depending on supplies – with the potential for more.
Staff reiterated that residents should wait to be contacted by their local centre – and are asking people not to call their GPs or show up without an appointment.
Warwick and Leamington MP Mr Western said: “Yesterday I had the pleasure of seeing for myself the wonderful work our local NHS is doing to vaccinate residents against COVID-19.
“I wanted to thank the tireless and dedicated staff members and volunteers who are at the vanguard of our region’s efforts to beat the virus.
“Not only was it humbling to see so many working so hard for our region’s most vulnerable residents, it was also extremely moving to see the happiness on people’s faces after receiving the vaccination.
“The atmosphere in the waiting room and the camaraderie among the staff and volunteers was truly uplifting – so much happiness and relief.
“Some residents hadn’t left their homes in months and were desperate for some assurance after what has been an immensely challenging period for so many. Other residents dressed in their best clothes to celebrate receiving the life-saving jab.”
Local centres have also issued an appeal for volunteers who can help ramp up vaccination efforts across the area.
Mr Western spoke to 17-year-old volunteer Annie-Rose Figgitt who said: “I just want to be able to tell people that I played my part helping out with Covid.”
Mr Western says accelerating the roll out is now crucial to ease pressure on Warwick Hospital – which is working regularly at full capacity with virus patients.
Clinical Director for South Leamington PCN Dr Sukhi Dhesi told Mr Western: “We are working through certain cohorts and we will get to everybody.
“I don’t want people to be worried that we’ve forgotten them.
“Wait until you have received some correspondence from us.
“Everybody will be vaccinated but it’s about waiting for your turn.”
Dr Ollie Lawton added: “Just to reiterate, although people have had the vaccine, it doesn’t mean you can be any less strict with your social distancing and infection control measures.
“Having the jab cannot result in us getting complacent, otherwise we will be in this mess a lot longer.”