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Donald McGarvey from Coleshill leads the way as North Warwickshire’s COVID vaccination gets underway

Published on Thursday, 17th December 2020


The COVID vaccination programme started in North Warwickshire yesterday

Donald McGarvey from Coleshill was the first patient to be vaccinated at the Hazelwood Practice as the largest vaccination programme in history gets underway in the county. It was over before he knew it and the 86-year-old even had time to thank the NHS.

He is one of the first people in Warwickshire to receive their vaccine from a GP practice. Hazelwood Primary Care Network consists of five GP practices in the town and are the first to have invited eligible patients.  People who are aged 80 and over, as well as care home workers, have been identified nationally as priority groups for the life-saving vaccine.

This is the latest phase of the vaccine roll-out is being co-ordinated by GP-led primary care networks – these are groups of GP surgeries who work together.

Sonia Matthews, Clinical Practitioner who vaccinated the first patient: “I feel absolutely brilliant. So happy that we are starting to change the world. Before I felt like we were literally fighting a big fire with a water gun and now we are fighting it with fire. It’s brilliant for the community and the team have all been fantastic here.”

Chair of North Warwickshire CCG Dr Sarah Raistrick said: “This is the greatest vaccination programme ever undertaken by the NHS and, to help vaccinate people safely we will be working with local communities to deliver it in convenient and familiar settings. I would urge people not to contact the NHS for a vaccine, but to please be patient and wait until we contact them.”

David Wright, Leader of North Warwickshire Borough Council, welcomed the news of the first community vaccinations: “This is the news we have been waiting for most of this year and it is incredibly positive news that the vaccination programme has started. I am particularly pleased to welcome the first community vaccinations in Coventry and Warwickshire to North Warwickshire and I pay tribute to the NHS, our local CCG and the Hazlewood Practice for the enormous amount of time and effort that has gone into starting these vaccinations.

This is only the start and we are working with the CCG on the roll out to everyone in North Warwickshire. This will take time and a lot more work by our health colleagues. In the meantime, we need to relentlessly focus on keeping infections down to come out of the current tier of restrictions and avoid any further local lockdowns.  Yesterday though offers a very strong glimmer of hope and a boost to our communities’ resilience going into the New Year.”

The other locations within Coventry and Warwickshire vaccinating this week are:

  • Warwickshire Rural PCN - 4 practices vaccinating at Hazelwood Practice
  • Coventry PCN - 6 practices vaccinating at Keresley Green
  • Stratford Central PCN - 5 practices vaccinating at Stratford Hospital
  • Kenilworth And Warwick PCN – 4 Practices vaccinating at Warwickshire golf club
  • Rugby PCN - 12 practices vaccinating at Locke House


More GP-led locations will be announced across Coventry and Warwickshire in the coming weeks.