Add news
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010June 2010July 2010
August 2010
September 2010October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011March 2011April 2011May 2011June 2011July 2011August 2011September 2011October 2011November 2011December 2011January 2012February 2012March 2012April 2012May 2012June 2012July 2012August 2012September 2012October 2012November 2012December 2012January 2013February 2013March 2013April 2013May 2013June 2013July 2013August 2013September 2013October 2013November 2013December 2013January 2014February 2014March 2014April 2014May 2014June 2014July 2014August 2014September 2014October 2014November 2014December 2014January 2015February 2015March 2015April 2015May 2015June 2015July 2015August 2015September 2015October 2015November 2015December 2015January 2016February 2016March 2016April 2016May 2016June 2016July 2016August 2016September 2016October 2016November 2016December 2016January 2017February 2017March 2017April 2017May 2017June 2017July 2017August 2017September 2017October 2017November 2017December 2017January 2018February 2018March 2018April 2018May 2018June 2018July 2018August 2018September 2018October 2018November 2018December 2018January 2019February 2019March 2019April 2019May 2019June 2019July 2019August 2019September 2019October 2019November 2019December 2019January 2020February 2020March 2020April 2020May 2020June 2020July 2020August 2020September 2020October 2020November 2020December 2020January 2021February 2021
News Every Day |

We vaccinated 1,200 people in 2 days in a rural area without wasting a single dose. Here's how we did it.

Dr Eilir Hughes in situ
Dr Eilir Hughes
  • Dr Eilir Hughes and his colleagues vaccinated 1,200 people over a single weekend.
  • They didn't waste a single dose of the Pfizer jab as they inoculated people despite snowfall.
  • "I wanted to prove that it could be done better and it could be done faster." 
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

As a general practice (GP) doctor, I was keen and ready to deliver vaccines to my local community - the Llŷn Peninsula, a rural beauty spot in North Wales. So I was frustrated by all the noise I'd been hearing about Wales being slow off the mark when it came to vaccinations.

I wanted to prove that it could be done better and it could be done faster; to say "we're here and we can pull it off." When you live in a rural area, there's an expectation that the services offered will be secondary.

We wanted to challenge that and show that actually, even though we're in the far end of north west Wales, a very rural area, we could get our community, which is one of the most deprived areas in the country when it comes to household income, this new vaccine.

Read more: I'm a doctor in Singapore. Our COVID-19 cases have been low since last fall - here's what we're doing right.

And we did, banding together three practices to successfully deliver 1,200 vaccines over the weekend of January 23 and 24.

It wasn't easy. First I petitioned the local health board and the Welsh Government to entrust doses of the Pfizer vaccine to us. The policy in Wales at that time was that the Pfizer vaccine would be sent to mass vaccination centres and the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is easier to administer and store, would be sent to GPs.

But the problem was that the supply of the latter had not been great, the number reaching us had been frustrating, and the nearest mass testing hub was a 50-minute drive away, which was not feasible for many of our residents.

There was, however, more Pfizer. There was understandably nervousness around sending it to GPs because it has to be stored at -70° C. As soon as it's taken out of the freezer, the clock starts and you've got five days to use it up. It comes in trays which look like small pizza boxes and in each box there's 195 vials. In each vial there's up to six doses.

Dr Eilir Hughes Pfizer freezer
Dr Eilir Hughes with doses of the Pfizer vaccine

By taking the tray out of the freezer, you're committed to using it all up. You have to then maintain a "cold chain" by keeping that box and the vaccine within a strict range of 2-8° C.

When you're handling the vial, you also have to be very, very delicate and make sure that it's not shaken. And you have to prepare the vial. You have to do that and gently prepare each individual vaccine, whereas with AstraZeneca it's all prepared.

Nobody wanted to waste precious vaccines but I assured them that GPs and their teams were well capable of doing this and of my confidence that we could pull it off.

Read more: Japan says it has to throw away millions of Pfizer COVID-19 shots because it doesn't have enough syringes to extract them

This was on the Monday. We didn't get permission until Wednesday but I knew the administrative burden was going to be huge, so I had to take a gamble and set the wheels in motion.

On average, when you're calling somebody in for a vaccine, it takes roughly five minutes per person. We booked in 1,200 people, so it was a huge undertaking for the three practices.

We secured permission from Tŷ surgery's neighbors - we're based on a very small industrial estate shared by a coffee wholesaler and microbrewery - to use their space for the cars, as this was to form our temporary vaccine center.

We needed even more space than we would've for the AstraZeneca vaccine, because this one requires a post-injection 15-minute stay in an observation area, in case of reactions.

We worked closely with local police and area sergeant Colin Jones, who ensured he had a team ready to support us and to create a smooth traffic system.

Cars traffic cones
We were delivered 150 traffic cones by the council. Police co-ordinated parking based on mobility, so those who were fit parked a bit further away and those who needed assistance got to park up right by the surgery.

Having got to the site at 7.30 a.m. along with our team of approximately 50 people - some of whom were from the local football club, art gallery and supermarket - the day ran quickly and efficiently. 

We're in an area that never gets snow, and on the very rare occasions we do it never sticks. But when I woke up on Sunday, it was white everywhere. It was just a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach. But I thought "I can get very upset and stressed by it or crack on and hope for the best."

Read more: The coronavirus is going to stick around forever. Get ready for the new normal.

The local council got out to grit the streets and lots of volunteers came out with their shovels to help clear the area, including myself. Incredibly, the vast majority of people still managed to come for their vaccine and, in the end, not one dose was wasted.

Since then, I've had messages from patients and their loved ones who're so thankful to us. It's been quite emotional. My hope is that next time, and we have been asked to do it again, we'll get the vaccine to even more people.

As told to Lauren Brown

Read the original article on Business Insider




Read also

Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas to wear red Sunday in honor of Tiger Woods

Head of diversity at Dalton School leaving ‘in pursuit of other opportunities’

New mum Charlotte Dawson jokes ‘it’s a dummy, not my nipple’ as she ditches bra to dance around the kitchen in her PJs




News, articles, comments, with a minute-by-minute update, now on Today24.pro



Today24.pro — latest news 24/7. You can add your news instantly now — here
News Every Day

Grilled Stuffed Beef Tenderloin Recipe BBQ Pit Boys