We know that our patients want updates on COVID-19 vaccination, so the following information may be of interest:
We work as a Primary Care Network (PCN) in Co-operation with Hamstreet, Woodchurch and Charing surgeries. Only one surgery can be designated as the “hub” for receiving vaccination stocks and for our PCN that is Charing. With the first vaccine available (The Pfizer vaccine) the vaccine was too unstable to be moved and had to be given at Charing.
We received our first batch of vaccines on 18th December and vaccinated 975 patients across the PCN at the Charing Vaccination hub. Over 500 of these patients, however, were Ivy Court patients.
We are now moving to a second phase of vaccination which involves the AstraZeneca (Oxford) Vaccine. This vaccine is more stable and can be moved, brought over to Ivy Court, and taken in to care homes.
Our priority with the first limited stock of this vaccine is vaccinating our care home residents. This is underway this week.
We are pre-emptively booking patients in for vaccination next week in anticipation of our next vaccine delivery. We do not yet actually physically have this vaccine in stock. We are booking vaccines in, ahead of taking delivery, so that at no time are we sitting with vaccines in our fridge for longer than absolutely necessary before being administered to patients. We anticipate vaccinating over 900 patients in the course of next week. This does have the risk that the vaccine delivery schedule is subject to change. If a delivery is delayed, we may have to suddenly reschedule several hundred vaccines. Every booking, (and cancellation) takes administration staff time, and requires phone calls.
Please note that we have around 1,400 over 80’s on our practice register, which is significantly above average as a proportion of our practice. This is the first priority group for vaccination. By the end of the month we will have vaccinated the vast majority of this group. When vaccination of this group is completed, we will move to over 75’s, and then those over 70 or in clinically vulnerable groups.
We have recognised our lack of communication has caused concern and we will now be sure to give regular updates regarding progress with our vaccination programme.
Please bear with us, and be assured that as fast as we can receive the vaccine, we will administer it as our top priority.