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Covid: Oxford jab rollout starts in Cornwall and Devon

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image copyrightBen Birchall/PA Wire
image captionThe Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is part of the biggest vaccination programme in NHS history

Residents at care homes are among the first to get the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in Devon and Cornwall.

Laura Westaway, a care home manager in Cornwall, said: "To be part of the rollout means more than words can describe".

The coronavirus jab will also be rolled out across GP surgeries, and people will be contacted according to advised priority groups.

The aim is to offer vaccines to most care home residents by the end of January.

'Sense of hope'

Ms Westaway works at Clovelly House Care Home in Newquay, which is one of the first to get the Oxford vaccine in Cornwall.

She said: "It feels like a big step back on to the path of normality.

"Our residents and staff both have been given a real sense of hope with the news of the vaccine."

The NHS target is to vaccinate 13 million people in the top four priority groups by mid-February.

St Leonard's Practice in Exeter is one of the first GP surgeries in Devon to be using the Oxford vaccine.

Dr Simon Ogilvie said: "It's a very busy time for all GP practices, we understand people will want these vaccines... we will contact you as soon as we are able to get you vaccinated."

Unlike the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine, which has been used in Cornwall and Devon since December, the Oxford vaccine does not need to be stored at ultra-low temperatures and is therefore easier to distribute and store.

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