East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust has today (Wednesday 9 December) opened its COVID-19 vaccine hub at Lister Hospital in Stevenage.
The trust is one of the first to set up a vaccination hub as part of the biggest vaccine campaign in NHS history.
The hub will focus on vaccinating local residents who are aged 80 or over and care home workers first, as well as NHS staff at the highest risk of serious illness from the virus.
Stevenage resident John Deakin (pictured above with nurse Ruth Osis) was the first person at Lister to be given his Pfizer jab – after regulators approved its use last week – shortly after 8am this morning.
The 81-year-old said: “I was surprised to be the first person to be vaccinated, but it was quite exciting really – I wasn’t expecting all this.
“Having the first vaccination I was quite apprehensive, but it was a piece of cake and no problem at all. It was just a straightforward injection.
“I am very honoured to be first and think this a big step in the right direction. I am very pleased with how it’s all gone and thankful for all the hard work that has gone into it.”
Those who are eligible for a vaccination in this first phase of the programme will be contacted to arrange an appointment. All those vaccinated will need a booster jab 21 days later.
Nick Carver, chief executive of the trust, said: “It is fantastic that we can play our part in what is a turning point in the battle against COVID-19.
“I am proud of my many colleagues who have made this landmark moment at the Lister possible, and would like to thank everyone for their continued efforts throughout the pandemic.
“While this is great news, I would urge the public to keep following government guidance and the principles of ‘Hands, Face, Space’ to continue to protect themselves and the community against the spread of the virus during what will be a long vaccination programme.”
To find out more visit our COVID-19 vaccination page here.