PEOPLE in Cornwall could start to be vaccinated against Covid as soon as next week as the Pfizer vaccine arrives in the county.

At a meeting of the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust Board this morning the trust’s chief executive Kate Shields said they would start vaccinating at a central site at Treliske.

“We are in really exciting times with a Covid vaccination that works and that's going to be rolled out to our people across Cornwall over the coming weeks and months,” she said.

“There are technical challenges with it as a vaccine that has to be stored at, I think it's minus 90 degrees or minus 80 degrees, and it has to be defrosted and used within five hours of vaccine being defrosted so that presents us with some logistical challenges.”

She said their chief pharmacist Ian Davidson was doing an ‘amazing piece of work’ to get into a position where they may be able to start vaccinating people from as early as next week.

They were using a centralised model so that they could store it safely and minimise the transfer of the vaccine around the county.

She said they will start vaccinating from the Treliske central site from next week and had 600 vaccinators across Cornwall to carry out the work.

But they needed to vaccinate in excess of 46,000 people in the first phase and would be increasing the pool of trained vaccinators

“We have asked our clinical leaders to be the first people to step forward for vaccination so that we can ensure that both people who work in our CHD and our public know that our clinical leaders are really clear that this is a safe and effective vaccine.

“They're going to demonstrate that by being amongst the first to be vaccinated and we will have to take that message to the whole of our public.”

She said there were still relatively low levels of Covid in Cornwall and still relatively low levels of hospitalisation.

“If we can get people vaccinated and if we can still do the things around maintaining social distance washing our hands and wearing masks we may be able to prevent Cornwall seeing anywhere near the level of activity and other parts of the country,” she said.

She said so far they had got 350 volunteers from partners across Cornwall to take the vaccine.

“Cornish people are wanting to work together to keep everybody safe that's an amazing message that we as a board should recognise and endorse,” she said.