SWANAGE Medical Practice will play its part in delivering the coronavirus vaccine.

In a statement posted on the surgery's facebook page, senior partner Dr Jason Clark told patients the practice had "signed-up to be part of the team" delivering the vaccine on a "strictly prioritised basis according to national protocol."

He also said that as soon as the practice gets dates of availability, appropriate individuals will be contacted to book appointments.

Wareham Hospital had been chosen by The Primary Care Network as a local site for large scale vaccinations.

Dr Clark said: "The group to be vaccinated is a much larger one than usually get the flu vaccination.

"They will need two doses and the vaccine is much more complex to store and give – so we will need to make use of new resources to ensure a speedy delivery."

Patients were also urged to ensure the practice has up-to-date contact details for them, including address, landline and mobile phone numbers.

Welcoming the county's Tier 2 status, Dr Clark also said: "Clearly without all the measures the rates would have risen much higher, so many thanks to all the for playing their part in starting to turn things around.

"Nevertheless, as we still have the winter weather ahead of us , unless measures are maintained the rates will start to rise again.

"Certainly, this time around I've had several older patients who have contracted the virus in their own homes or somewhere in the town."

On the five day Christmas period when Tier 2 restrictions are temporarily rolled back, Dr Clark urged caution, saying there are still a few dark months to get through until the vaccine and the warmth of the summer drive the virus away.

He said: "The risk of passing on the virus is very much less outside.

"I would suggest keeping an eye on the weather and if it looks suitable, give someone you think may be lonely a call, to go for a short walk together.

"The walking will be good exercise and help to keep you warm and cheer spirits."

Dr Clark signed off the seasonal update with: "It has been an extraordinary year.

"I very much hope that with a high uptake of the coronavirus vaccine, 2021 will be a much better one."