A nurse vaccinator is among the first people in England to have had the Oxford and AstraZeneca jab at a GP surgery.
Sue Toye, who had herself only moments before been vaccinating over-80s at the Priory Gate Practice in Coventry, received the injection on Thursday afternoon.
National health officials had earlier confirmed patients and key workers would start getting the Covid-19 vaccine at surgeries, as part of the next phase of the vaccine rollout.
It is hoped that more than 700 sites would be delivering vaccines by the end of the week.
The 51-year-old nurse, who is from Coventry and has worked at the practice more than 10 years, said she was “absolutely elated” after getting the jab, administered by Dr Claire Kelly.
“I finally got it done,” said Ms Toye.
Asked if she would urge others to have the vaccine if offered, she said: “Definitely – so we can try and get life back to normal.”
Staff including Ms Toye have already been busy administering the Pfizer jab at the rate of one every five minutes to the practice’s over-80s patients, with 975 injections scheduled on Thursday alone.
On Friday, the practice will also begin using the Oxford vaccine after receiving a delivery of 400 doses this week bolstering supplies as the national effort to vaccinate the elderly and vulnerable is stepped up.
The rollout to GP surgeries is a big step forward in bringing the vaccine to the masses in the largest vaccination programme in the history of the NHS.
The Oxford jab can easily fit into the usual vaccine delivery systems as it does not need special cold storage.
Glenn Walker is Priory Gate Practice manager and coordinator for the primary care network, made up of 12 individual Coventry doctor’s surgeries.
He said getting the Oxford vaccine out through GPs was a “fantastic” achievement.
“It’s great that we have been given the opportunity to help protect our key-worker staff and patients in Coventry,” he said.
“It’s also very exciting.
“As far as the Oxford vaccine itself is concerned, it will give us flexibility in terms of how we look after patients, going forward, because it has a longer shelf life.
“It doesn’t have to be stored at very low temperatures, unlike the Pfizer vaccine, so it have more flexibility.”
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