The Lincolnshire covid vaccination programme reached a monumental milestone today as it gave its one millionth vaccination (first and second doses combined) to a patient at the PRSA Mass Vaccination Centre, Boston.
This remarkable total has been reached just over seven months since the covid vaccinations began to be rolled out across the county last December, and follows hot on the heels of the 500,000th first dose being given last month.
“It truly is an incredible feat and one that back in December seemed a very long way off,” comments Rebecca Neno, Deputy Chief Nurse, NHS Lincolnshire CCG. “The vaccination programme is unprecedented in its scale and ambition, and has only been possible thanks to the support and sheer hard work of so many NHS colleagues, partner organisations, local businesses and volunteers.
“In particular I would like to thank our GP practices and Primary Care Networks (PCNs) who have been a critical part of this, running the network of vaccination sites around Lincolnshire, all of who have hit their own significant milestones in recent weeks and months, making a massive contribution to the total of one million first and second vaccinations.
“Add to this our two Mass Vaccination Centres at PRSA and at the Lincolnshire Showground, as well as the support from pharmacies around the county, and of course the outstanding contribution made by so many volunteers and businesses, it really has been an amazing team effort.”
Lisa Szirtes, 42, Sleaford, was the recipient of the one millionth jab.
“I had no idea until I arrived at PRSA this morning and I still can’t quite believe it. It was a huge surprise to be told I was getting the one millionth vaccination and I am very proud to have been that person – it’s certainly something to tell the family about.”
One of the country’s biggest and most rural counties, the challenge in front of Lincolnshire when it began to mobilise the vaccination programme towards the end of 2020 was not underestimated by anyone on the team, as Rebecca explains.
“With a total population of around 750,000 people, we knew that we would have to provide people with a range of options, in terms of where to get vaccinated, in order to accommodate the sheer geography and rurality of the county. This is why, with the help of our PCNs, we set up a network of vaccinations sites around the county, supported by our two Mass Vaccination Sites, our pharmacy partners and our army of volunteers.
“Perhaps the biggest thank you of all needs to go to the people of Lincolnshire, who have come forwards in huge numbers to get vaccinated and continue to do so – without them none of this would have been possible and it’s them who have constantly done everything they can to help as we push on with getting out of this.”
Talking of continuing to come forwards for vaccinations, in addition to the network of vaccinations sites around the county offering vaccinations that are bookable via the National Booking System website or by calling 119, many continue to offer walk-in appointments,allowing people to simply turn up and get jabbed.
“The first part of our response to covid is nearly over, but we are working very hard planning the next phase which will include booster vaccinations in the autumn,” adds Rebecca. “However, my message to people remains the same – getting vaccinated is the best way to get protected, the best way out of this, and the best gift you can give to yourself and your loved ones. Please keep coming for your vaccinations.”
(Photo: Lisa Szirtes, 42, from Sleaford, who was presented with flowers by Rebecca Neno, Deputy Chief Nurse, NHS Lincolnshire CCG, in recognition of being the recipient of the one millionth covid vaccination)