Two years on: Our COVID-19 vaccination journey
Today, 8 December, marks the 2 year anniversary since the first COVID-19 vaccination was administered as part of the biggest vaccine campaign in the history of the NHS.
Since the launch of the campaign, the NHS has administered over 150 million COVID-19 vaccines with almost 80% of adults having at least one dose. On a local level, the vaccination teams from multiple agencies across the city, including University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust (UHP), have administered an incredible 756,124, or over three quarters of a million, COVID-19 vaccines.
Jeanette Courtman, Lead Nurse at Home Park Mass Vaccination Centre, reflected on this achievement by saying: “We have been able to achieve this huge success with the COVID-19 vaccination programme with our partnership working with agencies and charities within the city, including Plymouth City Council, Livewell, British Red Cross, St John's Ambulance and our fabulous volunteers.”
The vaccination campaign started at UHP 2 years ago when 88 year old Dennis Lyne became the first patient in Devon and Cornwall to receive their vaccine. Since that day, multiagency vaccination teams have worked together to provide vaccines across Plymouth and the wider area including at two mass vaccination sites, firstly at Derriford Hospital and an ongoing site at Home Park, as well as numerous community clinics.
Talking about the launch of the vaccination campaign, Sue Wilkins, Director of Mass Vaccination, Flu and Testing, said: “It was a momentous day indeed. So much has changed in the two years since the vaccination service started and it has been a privilege to be involved in a project that really did start from nothing.
“So many people have been involved. Back before day one, when we really were working with so very little information, and certainly no experience of setting up a mass vaccination program, through to today’s well-oiled machine, the result of each and every person who has, and continues, to play a part.”
“Never before in my career have I had the pleasure of seeing the voluntary sector, Livewell Southwest colleagues, and the acute Trust, working so cohesively for the greater good.
“I’d like to give my thanks to everyone who has been involved and there are too many to mention. So many people worked for endless hours at the beginning to ensure we have the program that is so flexibly and professionally delivered to this very day.”
The vaccination teams are continuing to provide COVID-19 vaccines at community sites across Plymouth and the wider area, as well as at the mass vaccination site at Home Park Stadium.
Whether you still need your first dose, or a booster, you can find information on how to book your COVID-19 vaccine here. Alternatively, you can attend a drop-in clinic today at Home Park from 8.30am to 7pm, Ivybridge Leisure Centre from 11am to 5pm, or at Dartmouth Baptist Church from 11am to 5pm.