First Covid-19 vaccinations using Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine administered in Cambridgeshire
The first Covid-19 vaccinations in Cambridgeshire using the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine were administered today (Friday January 8).
It represents the latest stage of the roll-out programme, amid spiralling infection rates.
Until today, only the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine had been administered in the county.
Maud Coulson, 85, a resident at Vera James Care Home in Ely, was one of the first patients in the area to receive the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine from the team at St Mary’s Surgery, Ely.
A spokesperson at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said other sites had also received deliveries of this vaccine.
It is significant because the Oxford Univeristy/AstraZeneca vaccine can be kept in a standard fridge, whereas the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine must be stored at -70C, which limits the number of locations available to administer it.
The CCG spokesperson said: “The Covid-19 Vaccination Programme is now well under way in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough with many more vaccination sites opening up over the coming days and weeks.”
Second doses of Covid-19 vaccine will be administered up to 12 weeks after the first jab. They can be administered sooner, but the government is prioritising first jabs in order to increase the number who benefit from initial immunity.
The development came as infection rates for Cambridgeshire soared to 500.2 people per 100,000 for the week to January 3, meaning one in every 200 people received a positive test in the county that week. The national rate is 594 people per 100,000
Some 3,269 cases were confirmed in Cambridgeshire in the week, up 1,395 (74.4 per cent) on the previous seven days as the new variant of Covid-19 - which is 50 to 70 per cent more transmissible - spread rapidly. The figures may also reflect the impact of increased household mixing on Christmas Day.
In Cambridge, the infection rate reached 555.3 per 100,000 in the week to January 3, as 693 cases were confirmed (up 276 or 66.2 per cent).
A new walk-through testing site has opened at the University of Cambridge car park 8 on the West Cambridge site (CB3 0FS). You must book a test first at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.
Anyone with coronavirus symptoms – a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste - is urged to get a test.
Meanwhile, in London, a major incident was declared as hospitals battled to deal with the rise in patients. Up to one in 30 people - and in some places, one in 20 - are estimated to be infected in the capital.
Vaccinations are being rolled out according to a priority list. The NHS will contact individuals when it is their turn.
The priority list for vaccination:
- residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
- all those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers
- all those 75 years of age and over
- all those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals[footnote 1]
- all those 65 years of age and over
- all individuals aged 16 years[footnote 2] to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality[footnote 3]
- all those 60 years of age and over
- all those 55 years of age and over
- all those 50 years of age and over
This will be followed by the rest of the adult population.
At the moment, under-16s are not due to be given a vaccine
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has advised that “only those children at very high risk of exposure and serious outcomes, such as older children with severe neuro-disabilities that require residential care, should be offered vaccination”.
Sites offering Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine
In Cambridgeshire, sites administering the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine so far include:
- Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge
- Peterborough City Hospital
- Ely South and Ely North Primary Care Networks – with practices in Ely, Soham, Haddenham, Burwell and Littleport
- Wisbech PCN – Clarkson Surgery, North Brink Practice, Parsons Drive Surgery and Trinity Surgery
- South Peterborough – Oundle Medical Practice, New Queen Street & Stanground Surgeries, and Yaxley.
Meanwhile, a third Covid-19 vaccine, from Moderna, has been approved by regulators in the UK, but it will not be available until the spring.