We have been inundated with calls from patients asking when they are to be vaccinated. Whilst we understand that many patients will be anxious to receive their vaccinations as soon as possible, such calls take our staff away from the vaccination program needlessly and slow our progress through the cohorts of priority patients. This in turn contributes to the delay in reaching younger patients for vaccination.
We would ask that patients don’t call The Practice to ask about when they will receive their vaccinations and respect that GP surgeries are bound by national guidance, from NHS England and the Joint Committee on Vaccinations, who have decided on the prioritisation of certain groups for the vaccination program as outlined below:
- residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
- all those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers
- all those 75 years of age and over
- all those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals
- all those 65 years of age and over
- all individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality
- all those 60 years of age and over
- all those 55 years of age and over
- all those 50 years of age and over
Vaccine supplies holding up now with weekly deliveries. The notice for delivery of vaccines from NHS England can be erratic which makes planning clinics challenging. The Pfizer vaccine lasts only 3.5 days from the moment it is delivered to us so we have to use up over 1,100 doses very quickly with only a few days’ notice of the arrival of the new batch of vaccines. When batches of Pfizer vaccine are received, we set up the marquee to accommodate the increased flow of patients required to get through all the vaccine within the allotted period; do not be concerned that the marquee is not there now as it SHALL return when needed.
Staff at all five surgeries that comprise CHAW PCN are working around the clock to organise and deliver the clinics as fast as vaccines can be supplied and many staff have cancelled annual leave to ensure this happens as quickly as possible. We only ever stop vaccinating when we have run out of supplies of vaccine.
The vast majority of the non-housebound over 80s population and residents in care homes have now been vaccinated. Housebound patients should receive their vaccinations in the coming weeks; we were awaiting further permissions and guidance from NHS England to allow us to vaccinate such patients in their homes.
We will start to invite the 75 to 79-year-old age groups imminently.