Leeds NHS healthcare worker receives one of first Covid vaccines in the city

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The first NHS healthcare worker in Leeds has been given the Covid vaccine.

Sylvia Harris, 80, was administered the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 on Tuesday, December 8.

Mrs Harris was just 26 when she first joined Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust (LTHT).

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She worked as a ward housekeeper but has been shielding at home throughout the pandemic.

She said she is glad to have got the vaccine done as she misses her colleauges.

A spokesman for the hospital said: "This lunchtime Sylvia Harris, 80-yr-old ward housekeeper, was the first of our colleagues to be vaccinated.

"Sylvia was 26 when she first joined LTHT.

"Currently shielding at home, she said; “I miss all the people I work with. I’m so glad I’ve got it done.”

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Sylvia Harris, 80-yr-old ward housekeeper, was the first Leeds Teaching Hospital worker to be vaccinated. Photo: Leeds Teaching HospitalsSylvia Harris, 80-yr-old ward housekeeper, was the first Leeds Teaching Hospital worker to be vaccinated. Photo: Leeds Teaching Hospitals
Sylvia Harris, 80-yr-old ward housekeeper, was the first Leeds Teaching Hospital worker to be vaccinated. Photo: Leeds Teaching Hospitals

The Estates & Facilities team at the hospital said: "Well done Sylvia - can't wait to have you back at work".

Professor Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, said: “Despite the huge complexities, hospitals will kickstart the first phase of the largest scale vaccination campaign in our country’s history from Tuesday.

“The NHS has a strong record of delivering large scale vaccination programmes – from the flu jab, HPV vaccine and lifesaving MMR jabs – hardworking staff will once again rise to the challenge to protect the most vulnerable people from this awful disease.”

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Sir Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive, added: "Coronavirus is the greatest health challenge in NHS history, taking loved ones from us and disrupting every part of our lives.

“Hospitals have now cared for more than 190,000 seriously ill Covid-19 patients and have seen beds fill up again in recent weeks.

“The deployment of this vaccine marks a decisive turning point in the battle with the pandemic. NHS vaccination programmes which have successfully helped overcome tuberculosis, polio, and smallpox, now turn their focus to coronavirus.

“NHS staff are proud to be leading the way as the first health service in the world to begin vaccination with this Covid jab.”

Who will be getting the vaccines?

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People aged 80 and over and care home workers will be first to receive the jab this week.

NHS workers who are at higher risk will also receive the jab.

There is still no guaranteed date for when care home residents will be vaccinated.

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The vaccine will be offered more widely, and at other locations, as soon as possible.

GPs and other primary care staff have been put on standby to start delivering the jab.

A number of GP-led primary care networks will begin doing so next week with more practices in more parts of the country joining in on a phased basis during December.

Vaccination centres treating large numbers of patients in sporting venues and conference centres will subsequently stand up when further supplies of vaccine come on stream, NHS England said.

How is the vaccine administered?

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The COVID-19 vaccine is given as an injection into your upper arm.

It is given as two doses, at least 21 days apart.

After having both doses of the vaccine most people will be protected against coronavirus.

It takes a few weeks after getting the second dose for it to work.

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