Today, Tuesday 15 December 2020, is a landmark moment for patients in Bradford district and Craven as GP practices give the first doses of the coronavirus vaccine to local patients.
Mohammed Bostan, age 95, was one of the first people to receive their vaccination this morning at Long Lee Surgery, Keighley.
Mohammed said, “If I can help save just one person’s life by encouraging them to have their vaccination then I’ll be very happy. I’ve been staying at home (self-isolating) since March, and only go out to go to the doctors or for a hospital appointment. Having the vaccine is a lifeline for me and I’m looking forward to having my booster in three weeks so I can get out a little more in the New Year.”
Mohammed, who was a local textile worker before he retired, had spent most of the last 20 years caring for his wife Karamat after she suffered a stroke in 1997. She sadly passed away a few years ago and he now lives with his son, Mohammed Jhangir, close to Keighley town centre.
Irene said, “I’ve been staying at home (self-isolating) since March, and only go out very occasionally. I was able to join a support bubble with my older daughter, Ellie, when restrictions allowed but that’s meant I’ve not been able to see any other family.
“This vaccine is a real lifeline for me as I have Alzheimer’s and not being able to see all my family in person has been hard for us all and, sadly, has not helped my condition.”
“My youngest daughter, Anne, is expecting a baby in the summer and it would mean the world to me to be able to hold my new grandchild rather than seeing them on a computer screen. I’m looking forward to having my booster in three weeks so that I can see all my family – who I haven’t seen for months – and also get out more again in the New Year.”
Irene, who helped to run a family business before she retired, moved to Burley in Wharfedale several years ago to be nearer to her family.
GP practice ‘hubs’ located across the district have this week started giving vaccinations to patients aged 80 and above who are already attending hospital as an outpatient, and/or have been discharged home after a hospital stay. Some patients are also being offered vaccines at Bradford Royal Infirmary and Skipton Hospital if they are unable to travel to one of the hubs.
Dr James Thomas, a local GP and clinical chair of NHS Bradford District and Craven Clinical Commissioning Group said: “I would like to give a huge thank you to all those patients who have taken up the opportunity to come and have their coronavirus vaccination. It’s a really exciting moment to be here at the surgery giving these life-saving vaccinations. The vaccine will make a real difference to the health and wellbeing of some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.
Dr Matt Curtis, from Long Lee Surgery, Keighley, part of the Modality GP Partnership said: “We are really proud to be one of the first practices in Bradford to be able to deliver the coronavirus vaccine to patients. When we have been contacting patients, the reaction to being invited for the vaccine has been overwhelmingly positive, it’s a real lifeline for some of the most vulnerable and isolated people in our communities.
Dr Nick Clarke, a GP for IG Medical and clinical director for the Wharfedale, Airedale and Craven Alliance (WACA) federation of GP practices said: “I would like to say thank you to my colleagues across the NHS who continue to do an incredible job and have made a huge collective effort over the last few weeks to make sure we’re ready to deliver this historic vaccination programme. Our NHS colleagues across Bradford district and Craven have really pulled together to get this up and running, thank you to everyone involved.”
The delivery of the coronavirus vaccine is the largest vaccine campaign in NHS history, and it will be exciting news for many people. The NHS is asking people to be patient and wait to be contacted when it’s their turn. When you are invited, please take up the offer and attend all the appointments when asked. Getting the vaccination will reduce the chance of complications from coronavirus, which is why it is being given to those people who are most at risk from the virus first. The vaccine is given in two doses, at two separate appointments, and having both doses will give the best protection against coronavirus.
It is still important to follow all the guidelines to stop the spread of coronavirus, even if you have had the vaccine. That includes practising social distancing, washing your hands for longer and more often, and wearing a face-covering when in public places.
For more information about the coronavirus vaccine, visit the NHS website: www.nhs.uk/coronavirus