FOLLOWING a week of rising cases and mounting pressure on Salisbury District Hospital, more than 1,000 people in north Dorset have now received the first of their Covid-19 vaccinations.

On Saturday, January 9, Sturminster Newton Medical Centre turned into a vaccination clinic, after more than 900 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and around 400 doses of the Oxford vaccine were delivered.

Around 300 patients in the priority ‘over 80s’ group, from Gillingham Medical Practice, were among the first in the area to be invited to receive their vaccination, including the 80-year-old Andrew Tinsley.

The Wyke resident said: “Everything was extremely well organised. I was kept well informed and was very pleased to be able to have my vaccination.

“I felt very safe with socially distanced seating whilst I waited for the 15 minutes after my jab and thought the whole set up was absolutely excellent.”

Dr Kathryn Mounde, one of three partners from Gillingham Medical Practice, who helped administer the vaccines on the day, said: “It was wonderful to get going with the vaccination program. Thank you to the patients for their understanding and for helping us to make it a positive day.

"The gratitude of the patients was overwhelming.

"An enormous thank you to our extraordinary team of invaluable volunteers who worked tirelessly all day."

The practice staff will be visiting care homes in Gillingham this week to ensure both residents and staff receive their vaccination. There are also further clinics taking place this week for priority residents.