By KLTV Newsdesk –
The vaccination service at the Al Hikmah Centre in Batley has started to welcome patients back for their second dose of the COVID-19 jab, as the next phase of the vaccination programme gets underway.
These second does are being offered to residents 12 weeks after their first, in line with NHS guidance.
Though there were a small number of people who received their second jab in January, changes to the guidance meant March was now the earliest patients could start to accept their second dose. This applied to both the Pfizer and AstraZeneca Vaccines.
Batley is the first area in Kirklees to start administering the second dose of the vaccine. Residents in Huddersfield will be able to start receiving their second jabs from 22 March, starting at the Cathedral House service.
Attendees of the Al Hikmah Centre in Batley expressed their pleasure at receiving their second dose of the vaccine.
Audrey Speight, who attended the centre last week, said she was ecstatic to receive her second jab. She said: “I’m happy to know that we are all getting the vaccine and moving towards no lockdown.”
Medical receptionist Aasiya Karolia said she felt safe having the vaccine and would recommend to everyone to book get their jab as soon as they can.
Local resident Kashif Jamal thanked the NHS, commenting that he was “extremely happy to get the second dose.”
Another resident of Batley, Jim Allan, said he was “Pleased to get the protection of the second jab.”
Dr Chantel Ratcliffe, GP and Clinical Director of Batley and Birstall Primary Care Network, reminded people about the importance of attending for their second jab.
He said: “While the first dose gives you some protection, you must have two doses of the vaccine to make sure you have longer-lasting protection against the virus.
“It’s really important that you come along for your second jab when you’re invited.”
Dr Imad Riaz, GP and Clinical Director of Spen Health and Wellbeing Primary Care Network, said: “This is a real milestone moment in North Kirklees and I’m honoured to be involved.
“Thank you to all the staff and volunteers who have helped us get to this point.”
Steve Brennan, Senior Responsible Officer for the vaccination programme in Kirklees, said: “The vaccination programme in Kirklees has made great progress. We’ve delivered jabs to over 140,000 people and are now offering the first dose to patients aged 55 and over.
“The vaccine take-up level in our area is high and it’s wonderful that we are now starting to administer second doses to thousands of residents.”
Residents in Kirklees aged 55 years or over can now book their COVID-19 vaccination online via the national booking service or by calling 119.
Some people already have a confirmed appointment for their second jab as this was arranged when they booked the first vaccination. Others will be contacted by their GP practice after receiving their first dose.
It is hoped that the positive uptake of the first dose of the vaccine will continue through to people accepting their second.