COVID vaccinations have begun in the Cotswolds and a leading doctor says the aim is to give the older generation their freedom back.

North Cotswold Hospital in Moreton in Marsh is among the centres where the vaccination is being administered to people aged 80 and over, with Cirencester Hospital also one of the sites.

Dr Hywel Furn-Davies, GP and clinical director for North Cotswolds Primary Care Network (PCN), speaking on the first day of administering the Pfizer vaccine, said around 120 patients had received the jab so far that day.

Dr Furn-Davies said the vaccine would "give this generation their life back".

One person who received the vaccine on the first day in Moreton was Joan from Upper Rissington who said it had been "dealt with amazingly".

Starting with people over 80, the roll out of the vaccination programme will be expanded in the coming weeks and months to include other priority groups by age and those particularly vulnerable.

People are asked to wait for their GP surgery to contact them about the vaccine.

Dr Andy Seymour, Clinical Chair at NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has had a huge human and societal impact and the imminent roll out of a vaccination programme is to be warmly welcomed.

"GP practices and community NHS services will be supporting the public vaccination effort across their local areas and it’s been an incredible effort to have reached this point with such a short lead in time and so many other competing pressures.

"The NHS in Gloucestershire has adopted a really innovative model of vaccination building on strong local networks and joined up care in communities.”

John Trevains, Director of Nursing, Therapies and Quality at Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust, added: “Vaccinating our communities will be a huge undertaking, but it is vitally important if we are to overcome the immense challenges Covid-19 has placed us all under this year.

"We will be working tirelessly to roll the vaccine out across Gloucestershire using all available resources and are proud of our committed and adaptable colleagues for giving their all to this incredibly important initiative.”

Professor Steve Hams, Director of Quality and Chief Nurse at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, who is leading the overall vaccination programme delivery in Gloucestershire said: “Here at the Trust, we are one of 50 vaccination hubs across the country and our staff have done an outstanding job in getting us up and running so successfully.

"The county is now gearing up to deliver an extensive and innovative community led vaccination programme through local networks. We would like to thank local GPs and community NHS services for their fantastic and tireless efforts in support of this endeavour. This is testament to the One Gloucestershire way of working.”

"Not only will the vaccine save lives and reduce the pressure on NHS services, it also marks the start of our journey back to living our lives as we would wish, albeit having learnt some important lessons from the pandemic.”

GP surgeries will contact people with information on clinics and how to book an appointment.

Based on local arrangements, clinics will be in GP surgeries, community centres or hospitals.

Local people are asked not to turn up at a venue for their Covid-19 vaccination until they have received communication from their GP surgery confirming details.

If people are housebound and unable to travel to a centre for medical reasons, they will be contacted by a local healthcare worker.

GP surgeries will also be making arrangements to vaccinate care home residents.

After receiving the vaccination in Cirencester, local resident Roger said: "I hope with the second injection in three weeks time that my life can become nearer to normal."