MEDICAL staff and volunteers supporting the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccinations in Fordingbridge have been praised for the “amazing” job they are doing.

The Avon Valley Primary Care Network, which is made up of The Fordingbridge Surgery, Ringwood Medical Centre, Cornerways Medical Centre in Ringwood and Twin Oaks Surgery in Bransgore, has been carrying out vaccinations at the Fordingbridge Hospital site since the week of December 21.

Fordingbridge mayor Edward Hale said: “The staff at Fordingbridge Surgery and all the volunteers helping them have done an amazing job in rolling out the vaccination programme in our town. It is uplifting to hear residents say how well organised their visits to the vaccination centre have been.”

The vaccination site in the town has received support from the Friends of Fordingbridge Surgery, who have helped with volunteers and organised signage and a marquee, funding the heating of it, as well as providing volunteers with hot beverages and cakes.

The group’s chairman Ian Newman said it had been “overwhelmed” by the response and there was already 75 volunteers and more on the waiting list for training

He said their support had been “fantastic”, adding: “Without it people would not have had the good experience which they are reporting to us when they come for their Covid jabs. It’s been absolutely wonderful to have that support.”

He also praised the work of the surgery staff and GPs and said: “They have worked exceptionally hard and some long hours in what are very trying circumstances.”

Last week, the NHS in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight revealed that all the top for priority groups have now been offered a first vaccine dose.

There is a network of 67 sites across the county, ranging from GP-led local centres to pharmacies, and large vaccination sites working as part of the national programme.

More than 400,000 doses of vaccine have been administered in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight since the programme started in December.

Not every single person in the first priority groups will have received a vaccine, even though everyone has been contacted - people who are ill, or in hospital, or who do not wish to be vaccinated at this stage will not yet have been protected.

The vaccination programme will be focusing on vaccinating those aged 65 to 69.

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