A magnificent milestone in the local vaccination programme has been reached with the millionth dose being given in Rugby.

The lucky recipient was Shan Aravindan from Rugby who attended the vaccination clinic at the Locke House Vaccination Clinic late yesterday (Thursday) afternoon. The 50-year- old was attending the centre for his second dose of the vaccination after it was brought forward from 12 to 8 weeks.

The local milestone comes almost six months to the day since the first person in the world received their COVID vaccine in Coventry. Since then, hundreds of staff and volunteers have pulled out the stops across Coventry and Warwickshire to deliver the vaccination programme in cricket clubs and golf courses, churches and mosques, community centres and council halls, GP practices, hospitals, pharmacies and even a vaccination ambulance. This is in addition to the large Vaccination Centre set up in Stoneleigh NAEC.

Shan, a dad of two teenagers said: “I am thrilled to be the one millionth patient, it feels like being part of history. I was here getting my second dose as I know it is what gives the best protection against coronavirus. I would urge anyone who has been invited to get it. As soon as it’s my 19 year old son’s turn to get vaccinated, I will be encouraging him to take it.”

Dr Norman Byrd, Clinical Director for the Locke House Vaccination Centre said: “It's been a wonderful achievement to have vaccinated so many patients at Locke House. As a wave one site we were one of the very first local vaccination centres. The vaccinations have been administered by a truly wonderful partnership between the 12 Rugby practices and a large group of volunteers.  We were delighted when we hit 63,000 vaccinations; since then the number has risen steadily.  Whilst we have almost finished vaccinating the first 9 JCVI groups we're about to turn our attention to Rugby's younger residents. I would urge everyone to book their vaccination the moment that they receive their invitation.”

Alison Cartwright, Senior Responsible Officer for the vaccination programme in Coventry and Warwickshire said: “The millionth vaccination is a huge milestone and it something for us to celebrate, we have come a long way in six months. I am incredibly proud of what has been achieved in this relatively short amount of time and would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in the local vaccination programme, they are a credit to the NHS and to the patients we serve. I would reiterate Shan’s advice and remind people to attend for their second dose of the vaccine as you need both doses to give you the maximum protection from the vaccine.”