Doctors, nurses, and residents are saying yes to the COVID-19 vaccine, with nearly 50,000 receiving their first jab in the borough.
The vaccine is being given in priority order, and began with residents
over the age of 80 years of age and extremely clinically vulnerable people
and also front line workers; before working down the age groups and
being offered to those with less critical underlying health conditions.
Residents that are in the following categories should book a vaccine appointment on the NHS website or call 119:
- Aged 65 and over
- Previously received a letter saying you are at high risk from coronavirus (clinically extremely vulnerable)
- Eligible frontline health worker
- Eligible frontline social care worker.
Residents need to be registered with a GP surgery in England to use this service. Register with a GP if you do not have one.
‘Light at the end of the tunnel’
Dr Gouri Dhillon, a GP in West Ealing was one of the first local people to have received the vaccine and has now had both doses. She said: “I would encourage people to have this vaccine as it may stop you from having to go in to hospital and it also helps the NHS that way. Doctors and nurses in the hospital are exhausted – beyond exhaustion – mentally and physically. They need a break.”
Just before the vaccination arrive Dr Dhillon explained the worry amongst colleagues and patients: “Most patients and doctors were crying inside, because the rates of deaths were shooting up, the rates of positive cases were shooting up from the new variant. We thought ‘we could lose loved ones, patients, and people are going to get so sick from this’. We were really worried.”
Since the vaccination started in December and the national lockdown the mood has changed and Dr Dhillon said: “We have worked hard to vaccinate people and I do think that there is light at the end of the tunnel.”
Councillor Binda Rai, Ealing Council’s cabinet member for public health and adult services, said: “I have been blown away by the huge effort residents have put in to come together, follow public health guidance, and help to bring the R rate down.
“With the vaccination programme in full swing, there is hope that we can
see an end to the pandemic. However, the coronavirus is still prominent in our lives. So, now more than ever, I urge residents to continue to follow public health guidance. And it is critical that you get the vaccine when it is your turn to have it. No matter what your background is, remember it is safe to have the vaccine and it saves lives: Not just yours, but also other people’s by helping to stop the virus.”
There is lots of information available and ‘frequently asked questions’, on the council’s website on the vaccine, how it is made, and why residents should take it. Residents are encouraged to find out more before they are offered the vaccine.
There are also links to the FAQs in the following languages:
Find out more on who is eligible for the vaccine.