Vaccination is a ‘big weight off’ for shielding couple

A couple who said they have stayed at home throughout the pandemic to make sure they were “100% safe” have described having the coronavirus vaccination as a “big weight off”.

Richard and Linda Poskitt received their vaccinations in Wakefield, at the first large-scale centre to open in West Yorkshire, on Tuesday morning and said it was a “great day”.

The couple said they both have underlying health conditions and have been shielding during the outbreak as they knew it would be “extremely serious” if they caught Covid-19.

After receiving his vaccination, Mr Poskitt, 77, said: “We’ve been waiting for months really because my wife is clinically vulnerable and been shielding for a long time last summer and then shielding again now and it is a stress.

“In two or three weeks, or whatever, when we’ve got the protection, it will be a big weight off.”

He added: “Get it done. Because it’s a step forward to being safe, basically.

“The only way to be 100% safe was for us not to go out. We both knew that if we both got Covid, it would be extremely serious because we’ve both got underlying health problems.

“So it’s great, it’s a great day.”

Mrs Poskitt, 76, said: “I can go out in society. I’ve been at home the whole time, not gone through the front door.”

The centre, at Spectrum Community Health, on Navigation Walk, in Wakefield, is the first of West Yorkshire’s four centres to open, with further centres planned in Bradford, Huddersfield and Leeds.

Richard Poskitt receives the jab
Richard Poskitt receives the jab

Dr Phil Wood, senior responsible officer for the West Yorkshire vaccination programme, said: “We are delighted to be able to open our first large vaccination centre.

“This will help us to vaccinate greater numbers of at risk people as quickly as possible.”

He added: “We are working hard to offer vaccinations to everyone in the first four priority groups as quickly as supplies allow and will contact everyone over the next few weeks to book their appointment.”

Jane Palmer, a nurse at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust and one of the vaccinators at the centre, said: “Covid-19 has affected us all, whether it’s what we’ve witnessed first-hand on the front line, or what we’ve been through in our own personal lives.

“I feel very privileged to be able to play a part in helping to protect our local community against this awful virus.”

Phil Deady, director of pharmacy and senior programme manager at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said the centre was working alongside the hospital hub, GP practices and community pharmacies and staff planned to vaccinate all of the high-priority cohorts in Wakefield across the sites by the middle of February.