Covid vaccine in Cornwall patients given egg timers

GP surgeries in Cornwall have hatched a cracking idea to keep an eye on people who had received the Covid vaccine – using an egg timer.

The idea was the brainchild of primary care staff at the Three Harbours and Bosvena Health primary care network (PCN) in east Cornwall, one of the first three PCNs to start vaccinating people aged 80 and over.

Part of providing the vaccine included inviting people to wait 15 minutes for observations once they had received the first dose.

However, with such a huge undertaking, the team used the simple device to keep to time.

GP Dale Staff, one of the clinical directors at Three Harbours and Bosvena Health, said: “Dr Mike Waldron from Fowey came up with the egg-cellent idea of using the timers and then operations manager Lisa Berryman bought them online. The timers are cleaned before they are passed to the patient for use.

“It has been quite a talking point with the patients who have come in for their booked Covid-19 vaccine and we’ve even had requests by people to take them home as souvenirs.”


Once the 15 minutes are up people who have received the vaccination can leave the surgery; they will return again in 21 days to receive their second dose, which is needed for full protection.

GP Dale added: “Over the course of the three days we vaccinated hundreds of people and I would like to pay tribute to the team’s incredible efforts to get the clinics up and running so smoothly. I would also like to thank the people who attended for the Covid-19 vaccination, their good humour, support and gratitude for what we are doing has been uplifting and kept morale high.”

Falmouth and Penryn primary care network, along with Redruth and Watergate PCNs, also began vaccination services over the weekend.

All patients – including NHS staff – are invited for the vaccine based on advice from the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation at a national level.

Those who are aged 80 and over as well as care home workers are amongst the first to receive the vaccine before it starts to be offered more widely.

When it is your turn to receive the vaccine, based on the priority groups set out by the JCVI advice, the NHS will contact you, will people asked not to contact their GP practice, local hospital, or other local NHS services asking about it.

Gordon Fowle, a 96-year-old D-Day veteran who served in the navy, had the Covid vaccine at St Austell Healthcare last week.

After receiving the vaccine he said: “I never felt a thing”.

Encouraging people who have been invited to book the vaccine, he added: “Get it done, get it done. I was all for it from the start.”

Further information on the vaccine is available via the national NHS website.

Falmouth Packet | News