GPs, working together with the borough’s two clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), are continuing to roll out the COVID-19 community vaccination programme in Sefton, which began at the end of December.
This will gain pace over the coming weeks, with more patients most at risk of COVID-19 – aged over 80 years and care home staff and residents – being invited for their immunisation first.
Dr Craig Gillespie, chair of NHS South Sefton CCG, explained: “Our GP practices are working together in groups to deliver vaccinations as quickly as possible to their patients aged over 80 years and to invite them into a community centre to be immunised safely.
“Importantly, in the meantime, we are asking everyone not to contact their GP practice or another NHS organisation to ask for their vaccination – or to request one for a member of their household or their carer.”
Dr Rob Caudwell, Chair NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “We do understand that people will be keen to know when they will receive their vaccines. Each of us will receive an invite when it is our turn to be vaccinated, either by letter or a phone call.
“You may know others aged over 80 who have been invited for their vaccination already, however, not all areas of Sefton could start vaccinating at the same time, so not everyone has been contacted yet, but we will get to you.”
This is the biggest vaccination programme the NHS has ever undertaken. It is a huge challenge and the local NHS is working hard to overcome any logistical issues as they may arise. So, the exact weekly roll-out of the programme will be largely shaped by the vaccine supply from the manufacturers.
Not all local premises or surgeries can become community vaccination centres, as they need to meet the strict clinical and logistical requirements of the programme. So, when it is your turn to be vaccinated, be prepared that it may not be at your GP practice or another nearby venue.
The NHS has a clear vaccine delivery plan but it will take some time for GP practices to work through the number of people aged over 80 that need to be contacted.
So, GP practices and the CCGs are asking everyone to be patient and until people are fully vaccinated with two doses, they are reminded to follow the current restrictions and guidance and play their part by following these steps:
- Do not contact your GP practice or the NHS to seek a vaccine, we will contact you
- When we do contact you, please attend your booked appointments
- Please continue to follow all the guidance to control the virus and save lives by socially distancing, wearing a mask or face covering, and washing your hands regularly
The roll out of the programme in community vaccinations centres is in addition to hospital immunisation hubs, which began operating first from 8 December.
You can find general information about the COVID-19 vaccine here: www.nhs.uk/covidvaccine