COVID-19 Vaccination Programme Update
As of 1 March 2021 a third of our patients have received their first Covid-19 vaccination.
Message to Patients in JCVI Cohort 6 (all individuals aged 16 years to 65 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality).
As instructed by NHS England we are currently prioritizing the vaccination of patients in cohort 6. As soon as we receive notification from NHS England of vaccine delivery dates, we are arranging clinics and inviting cohort 6 patients. Cohort 6 is by far the largest single of the top nine cohorts. In line with national guidance, we are now prioritising those patients in cohort 6 who have recently been classified as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (shielding) and those with learning disabilities. Once all patients in those groups have been invited, we will then extend invites to the remainder of patients in cohort 6 in age order (oldest first). We continue to ask that you help us by not contacting the practice and be assured that we will invite all eligible patients as quickly as vaccine supply permits.
Message to Patients in JCVI Cohort 5 (Patients aged 65-69)
All patients that fall into cohort 5 should now have received an invitation from the National Booking Service to attend a mass vaccination or community pharmacy for their vaccination. We are aware that a number of our patients in cohort 5 have indicated that they would prefer to be vaccinated at their local GP run vaccination centre. Whilst we have been asked to prioritise the vaccination of patients in cohort 6, those patients in cohort 5 wishing to be vaccinated at their local vaccination centre should contact their practice and ask that they be added to the list of patients to be invited for vaccination. These patients will then be contacted and invited for vaccination as soon as possible.
2nd Dose Booking Update
We will shortly commence inviting patients for their 2nd vaccination dose. As we receive confirmation of delivery dates, invites will be issued to patients. These will be sent on the basis of the date of the clinic you attended for your first dose i.e., all of those patients that were vaccinated on 30th December, will be invited to attend for their 2nd dose on the same day. From the limited information we have been given at this point, we currently expect 2nd dose clinics to take place between eleven and twelve weeks after first doses. We ask patients to make every effort to attend on the day and time they are offered.
We have received a significant number of queries from patients and also on social media asking why, unlike mass vaccination centres, we are not offering vaccination appointments on an ongoing basis.
The short answer is that this is purely down to availability of vaccine for us to use. Local Vaccination Centre’s (LVS’s) being run by GP practices are not able to order vaccine. Instead, the NHS England team responsible for managing the supply of vaccine, allocate stock to us taking account of a number of factors such as vaccine availability nationally, the number of patients in currently eligible cohorts still to be vaccinated by each practice and the capacity at each vaccination centre. We have no control or input into the vaccine allocation or ordering process. As soon as we receive notification of vaccine being allocated to us and are given a delivery date, we arrange clinics for the day immediately following delivery and send out invites to eligible patients. We would like to assure our patients that we are as frustrated as you by the stop start nature of our clinics and that we continue to push for increased sizes and frequency of vaccine deliveries.