Hampshire residents could start to get vaccinated against Covid-19 as early as this afternoon, it has been revealed.
GP practices across the county are getting ready to start vaccinating patients this week.
It comes as NHS bosses said a number of GPs will be taking delivery of the Pfizer- BioNTech Covid vaccine today.
Some practices could start the rollout of the vaccine as early as this afternoon while others are set to start on Wednesday.
The news comes as in a public meeting last week health bosses said Southampton GPs were gearing up to start the rollout of the Covid vaccine before Christmas.
NHS bosses have now revealed that the first GP led sites going live with vaccination clinics this week are St Peters Surgery in Southampton; Fareham Community Hospital ; Hampshire Court Hotel in Basingstoke; Festival Hall in Petersfield; New Milton Health Centre; Bursledon Surgery; Colden Common Surgery; Badger Farm Community Centre in Winchester; Kingston Crescent Surgery in Portsmouth and Carisbrooke Health Centre on the Isle of Wight.
Those aged 80 and over, as well as care home workers and residents identified as priority groups will be the first to receive the vaccine. Residents have been asked not to contact their surgery as health bosses said the NHS will contact people in the priority groups when it is their turn to receive the vaccine.
Dr Matt Nisbet, GP and Clinical Lead for Business and Partnerships at the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Partnership of CCGs, said: “We would love to be able to vaccinate everyone, immediately, but clearly that is not going to be possible. I would urge everyone to be patient – GP surgeries across the county will contact you when we can offer you the vaccine, and we will start with the most vulnerable people first.”
Dr Nisbet said for those who will receive the vaccine this will be “a giant stride towards being able to live a more normal life again”.
But residents have been urged to continue to follow the Covid-19 guidance.
Dr Nisbet added: “The development of this vaccine, and hopefully others as well, is fantastic news but we must still take care to protect ourselves, and those around us. The NHS will vaccinate people as quickly as we can, but there is still the risky winter period ahead, and it is vital that we all keep up our guard.”
It comes as Hampshire and Southampton are in Tier 2 High Level of Covid restrictions.
This means that indoor meetings are banned but people can meet outside in a group of six.
The Tier system is going to be reviewed by central government on Wednesday.
But directors of public health in Hampshire and Southampton have warned that the county might remain in Tier 2 as restrictions will loosen over Christmas.