Vaccines have begun at last!

I spent yesterday in Barnstaple at the vaccine hub at the leisure centre, by the River, close to the train station, Lidl and Tesco. There is a great team of volunteers and GP practice staff from across North Devon. Volunteers are in the car park to show you the way and help if needed with mobility.

We have been giving the first 975 doses of the Pfizer, and we have also used spare vaccine to get an extra dose out of each 5 dose vial, using these to vaccinate some frontline GP practice staff – nothing is being wasted!

The rules are changing quickly, and we are now expecting Oxford vaccine and more dose of the Pfizer vaccine next week. The plan is to move to a 12 weeks gap between first and second jabs of both types, which we fully support to get more people protected.

What about Hartland?

At the moment we have not had permission to bring vaccine doses out to GP practices, but common sense suggests this could happen within a few weeks when enough vaccine becomes available.

We would love to start a “flu clinic” delivery in the village hall. Currently there is 15 minutes observation period required due to the vaccines being “brand new”, which will slow things down a little.

In the meantime, we are inviting patients to visit Barnstaple for a jab, starting with our oldest patients, so far its been the over 90’s. Please answer any phone calls in the coming few weeks.

Are the vaccines safe?

YES, we really believe so (and our staff are being vaccinated as soon as allowed!), and if you are choosing between the vaccine or the virus, there is no contest.

There is either a safe vaccine or a risky virus. Please get protected as soon as possible

How long does the vaccine take to work?

We think the Pfizer vaccine is working within 2 weeks, while the Oxford vaccine may take 3-4 weeks. We will get more details in the coming days.