MORE than half of people in Herefordshire have received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, figures reveal, and volunteers helping with the rollout have been dubbed "vaccination heroes".

NHS data shows 88,178 people had received both jabs by May 30 – 55 per cent of those aged 16 and over, based on the latest population estimates from the Office for National Statistics.

Of those to have received both jabs, 84,203 were aged 30 and over – 63 per cent of the age group.

It means 3,975 people aged between 16 to 29 have received both doses.

Across England, almost half of people aged 16 and over have received their second vaccine dose.

It comes as more than 100 volunteers recently attended a socially distanced event at the Larruperz Centre in Ross-on-Wye to receive thanks for their contribution to the Covid jab rollout.

At the event, coordinated by Ross Community Development Trust, the group dubbed "vaccination heroes" were presented with a commemorative badge and postcard designed by 15-year-old Whitecross pupil Bethan Pearson.

Sharon Waldis, primary care network development manager from Taurus Healthcare, said: "It was very humbling to witness how many volunteers had given up their time to help out at the vaccination centre.

"We couldn't have achieved what we have with this, the largest vaccination programme in living memory, without them.

"The badges and postcards are just a small token of our thanks, but the volunteers seemed truly thankful to be recognised in this way."

Covid-19 vaccinations have been given at the Larruperz Centre since December, and on an average day up to 400 injections are given by skilled healthcare staff from Alton Street and Pendeen Surgeries in Ross-on-Wye, Fownhope Medical Practice, Much Birch Surgery, and Kingstone and Golden Valley Surgeries.

The contribution of the "vaccination heroes" cannot be overstated, Taurus Healthcare said.

"They provide vital support, such as car park marshalling, welcoming patients, sanitising chairs and clipboards and acting as runners for the healthcare team.

"Without them, the hub would simply not be able to function as smoothly and efficiently as is often commented upon."

The first patients to get their jab at the centre were the oldest cohort, as well as many health and social care staff.

Ms Waldis added: "A handful of the first patients were over 100 years old and they were so pleased to receive their jabs. Many saw it as the first step towards being able to reconnect with family, friends and loved ones.

"I live in Ross-on-Wye and I've seen from local Facebook group pages the positive comments people have made about the Larruperz vaccination hub.

"Mostly, people express their gratitude at being able to receive their vaccination. Then there are lots of positive comments about the brilliant atmosphere at the hub and how well organised it all is.

"I would like to place on record my thanks to Brian Marshall (chair of the Larruperz Centre) and all his team members for making us feel so welcome and for accommodating our needs."

Since those early days, the Larruperz has continued to welcome hundreds of patients each week in order of priority, as defined by NHS England.

The centre is expected to remain open for the time being to deliver second vaccinations as well as first vaccinations for younger groups who are now being contacted by their GP surgeries to attend.

The NHS vaccine data also reveals variation in coverage for residents who had received at least one dose between different areas across Herefordshire.

Across Herefordshire, 74 per cent of those aged 16 and over have had one jab.

Areas with the highest coverage:

  • Credenhill, Weobley and Wellington, with 85.8 per cent of people aged 16 and over given their first dose
  • Colwall, Cradley and Wellington Heath, 85.1 per cent
  • Bromyard and Bishop's Frome, 82.8 per cent

Areas with the lowest coverage:

  • Hereford Central, 64.5 per cent
  • Hereford South, 65 per cent
  • Hereford South West, 66.2 per cent