BUILDINGS across the district are being lit-up in blue today to celebrate a milestone in the local Covid-19 vaccination programme.

The initiative is marking the fact that 250,000 people in the district have now received their first jab.

Council and NHS buildings, including Airedale Hospital, will be illuminated this evening and overnight.

Karen Dawber and Nancy O’Neill, who head-up the Bradford district and Craven vaccination programme, are using the milestone to recognise the efforts of those involved in the mammoth effort – and to encourage people to take-up the offer of a vaccine if they are eligible.

Karen, chief nurse at Bradford Teaching Hospitals, said: "This milestone is a significant one for all of us as our health and care colleagues, partners and volunteers have worked tirelessly since the first vaccine was delivered in our district on December 15, 2020. Since then we have been indebted to the efforts of NHS staff, our local councils and community and voluntary groups across the area who have all played a vital role in the successful rollout of our programme."

Nancy, from NHS Bradford District and Craven Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We have worked hard to help people make an informed choice when offered the vaccine and these efforts are paying off. We’ve also been innovative in our programme and recently we became the first place in the country to offer a women-only vaccine clinic.

"Just because we have hit this milestone doesn’t mean we can relax. It’s really important that people take-up the offer of the vaccine when invited to do so. We are particularly keen to remind those who are either aged 50 and above or those who are clinically extremely vulnerable to book an appointment today. It’s really easy you can either call 119 or go online at”

Sarah Muckle, director of public health for Bradford Council, said: “Reaching 250,000 first vaccinations is a significant achievement and is really encouraging news for our district as we look to get our lives back on track. To reach this number only a few months after our vaccination programme began reflects how well services in our district work in partnership and we are really grateful for everyone coming together to support the rollout.

“A huge thank you is also due to our residents for their patience and for taking-up the opportunity to get vaccinated which has helped with the smooth rollout of the programme.

“If you are eligible to book a vaccine appointment then I would urge you to do so, we want to ensure everyone who is eligible right now has had the vaccine.”

People who have had the vaccine are reminded that they still need to follow national Government guidance to protect both themselves and others from Covid-19.