More than 1,000 patients and NHS workers received COVID-19 vaccinations on Saturday, January 9, at Sturminster Newton Medical Centre.

About 300 patients aged 80-plus from Gillingham Medical Practice were among the first in the area to be invited to receive their vaccination.

One of the first was 80-year-old Andrew Tinsley from Wyke, Gillingham, who said: ’’Everything was extremely well organised. I was kept well-informed and was very pleased to be able to have my vaccination. I felt very safe with socially- distanced seating while I waited for the 15 minutes after my jab, and thought the whole set-up was absolutely excellent.”

Dr Kathryn Mounde, was one of three partners from Gillingham Medical Practice who helped administer the vaccines on the day, added: ‘’It was wonderful to get going with the vaccination program. Thank you to the patients for their understanding and for helping us to make it a positive day. The gratitude of the patients was overwhelming. We look forward to seeing more of you over the coming weeks. An enormous thank you to our extraordinary team of invaluable volunteers who worked tirelessly all day. You are amazing!‘’

The practice staff will visit care homes in Gillingham this week to ensure residents and staff receive their vaccination. More clinics for patients aged 80-plus take place this week. People are reminded NOT to call the surgery for an appointment. They will be contacted and invited to attend.

The team leader says it is working tirelessly to contact eligible patients to arrange appointments as soon as they become available.

Photographed: Rosie Thompson, one of our volunteer marshalls in action and Gillingham Medical Practice’s Dr Fenton giving Dr Pearce his vaccination.