ST HELENS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has given an update on progress on the borough's coronavirus vaccination roll-out.

The vaccination programme, which won praise from a government minister last week, continues to move through the priority groups.

After the initial target of giving everyone in the top four priority groups, including those aged 70-plus, and the extremely clinically vulnerable, their first dose, it moved on to the next cohorts.

According to the latest released weekly NHS figures, which came out on Thursday, February 18, 48,515 vaccine doses had been administered by then to patients in total by St Helens CCG as the 50,000 milestone was neared. This is likely to have been surpassed over recent days.

Figures include first and second doses.

Meanwhile, Saints' Totally Wicked Stadium is also hosting a regional vaccination hub.

The CCG confirmed that all residents in cohorts one to four have been vaccinated or offered an appointment. This includes over-80s; care home residents and frontline health and social care staff.

Meanwhile, people in cohort five, aged between 65 and 69, are being contacted to book their vaccination at one of the mass centres, a local pharmacy site or via their GPs.

GPs in St Helens are also currently also inviting cohort six, which consists of clinically vulnerable 16 to 64-year-olds who have underlying health conditions as well as people who are carers.

The CCG says both these cohorts are large groups so it will take some time to contact everyone in them and to complete first vaccine doses for all of them.

A St Helens CCG spokeswoman added: "We have GP-led clinics taking place every day this week and from next week GPs will be inviting people back for their second dose.

"It’s really important that people attend for their second dose - although significant protection is still provided at 22 days after the first dose, two doses of the vaccine are still needed to ensure the best protection from the virus."

She added that, in line with guidance, second doses are being administered "towards the end" of the recommended period between jabs of up to 12 weeks. This is to help ensure as many people as possible benefit from the first dose.

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The spokeswoman said: "The CVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation) has advised that the second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine may be given between three to 12 weeks following the first dose, and that the second dose of the AstraZeneca (Oxford) vaccine may be given between four to 12 weeks following the first dose.

"Second doses of both vaccines will be administered towards the end of the recommended vaccine dosing schedule of 12 weeks.

"This guidance has helped ensure that as many people as possible have been able to benefit from the first dose of the vaccine as soon as possible."

Anyone in the first four priority groups who has still not had a vaccine are asked to book an appointment via the national booking service:, or to contact their GP for one as soon as possible.