COVID-19 VACCINATION NEWS
We expect you are as pleased as we are to hear that vaccines against Covid-19 should soon be available. At the moment there are three vaccines from different providers, though none has yet been licensed for use, so no mass vaccination programme can start yet.
The surgery we will be given a national set of priorities for the order in which cohorts (or groups) are to be offered the vaccine. As this will be decided nationally not locally, if you have concerns about this prioritisation please contact your MP, not the surgery, as we shall not be able to make changes.
WHERE AND WHO
At the moment it is likely that a small number of central sites will be used for the first cohorts to be vaccinated, rather than individual GP surgeries, and many of our staff will be working extra hours to help out at these centres. We will do everything we can to ensure that our normal services to you are not affected.
One vaccine comes only in large batches which have to be kept at very low temperatures, with a short “shelf life”. This central sites approach will mean quicker coverage of a wider population, less wastage, and reduced risks of large numbers of patients waiting in a small space.
Some other vaccines being tested will probably come in smaller batches with longer “shelf lives”, and fewer stringent temperature control requirements. When and if these are available, we will offer them to you in a similar way to the regular flu vaccination programme, but this is not likely to happen until into the New Year.
As soon as we know more, we will be in touch with you again, so we ask you, please, not to contact us unless your enquiry is clinical. We are committed to working with you and the wider NHS to get everyone vaccinated safely and as soon as possible; please be patient with us as we work through this together.