I just have to share the good news that over 2,000 people have received the Covid Vaccine from our two GP practices in the last few days.
They have set up a marquee in the grounds of the health centre and with the assistance of a large number of volunteers have prepared very carefully to keep people safe and give the vaccinations.
This process is very time-consuming and managed centrally through the NHS.
Even though the marquee was in place before Christmas, the surgeries weren’t issued with their first doses of the vaccine until the 8th January.
They don’t seem to get much notice of when the vaccines will arrive and as these first batches are the Pfizer vaccine which has to be kept very cold, they have to be used within three and a half days of receipt so patients aren’t receiving much notice of their appointments.
Due to the short notice patients eligible for the vaccine are being telephoned with an appointment.
This gives them the opportunity to ask initial questions and to be given an explanation as to how the process works when they arrive in the car park at the health centre.
Both practices are very clear that they will contact patients directly to book vaccine appointments and ask you not to ring the surgery with queries about the vaccine as staff will be busy dealing with other patients.
All the feedback that I have received so far is that the process runs very smoothly and that patients who have received the first dose are being told that they will be contacted for the second vaccination in about twelve weeks’ time.
The vaccination process does, however, require some of our doctors and senior nursing staff to be in the marquee so this may impact the efficiency of the practices for the next few months.
Please continue to contact the surgeries in the normal way if you have any health issues but some non-urgent things may take a little longer than normal.
As the Church Street practice website says “We would be very grateful if you could understand that we may take longer than usual to process your problems and requests. We are available as usual for urgent symptoms and emergencies.”
So stay safe, have the vaccine if you are offered it but don’t be afraid to contact the surgeries as normal if you have other health problems.