12 January 2021: Information for residents regarding the Covid-19 vaccine
The Covid-19 vaccination programme is underway and, as per national guidance, those in the top two priority groups (care home residents and frontline health and care workers) are currently being vaccinated.
Vaccination centres are coming online throughout the week, including Epsom Racecourse which will have the capacity to vaccinate up to 1,000 people a day once fully up and running.
Residents are asked to help their local NHS by not calling them about the vaccine. They will contact you when it is your turn. Eligible patients are being contacted to come forward for their vaccination. Currently, those over 80 years old living within 45 minutes of a vaccination site, are receiving an invitation to book an appointment.
Once all sites across Surrey are up and running, the NHS will move, where possible, to provide the service 12 hours a day, seven days a week.
Staff and residents in local care homes are also being vaccinated. With the approval of the Oxford Astra-Zeneca vaccine, the roll out to all care homes will be accelerated.
What is the priority list?
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation have advised the first priorities for the vaccination should be the prevention of mortality and the maintenance of the health and social care systems.
The JCVI estimate that these groups represent around 99 per cent of preventable mortality from Covid-19. The subsequent phases of the vaccine rollout are yet to be decided.
I am in one of the listed priority groups, why do I have to wait?
Covid-19 vaccines will become available as they are approved for use and as each batch is manufactured. So every dose is needed to protect those at highest risk. You will be called in as soon as there is enough vaccine available.
Some people who are housebound or live in a care home and who can't get to a local vaccination centre may have to wait for supply of the right type of vaccine. This is because only some vaccines can be transported between people's homes.
I've called my GP practice about the vaccination but they say they don't know anything, why?
Single GP practices don't have the capacity to roll out a programme like this alone. That is why they have come together to pool resources and work with other partners in the community to get the clinics up and running quickly. As a result, individual practices are still managing all their usual day-to-day business and may not have answers to your questions about vaccinations. That is why we are asking people to wait to be contacted by the specific teams who are concentrating on the vaccination programme. So, please don't call your practice, the NHS will contact you when it's your turn.
How are people being contacted about their vaccination?
Networks of local GP practices are working together and using the usual range of communications methods available to them to make contact with patients.
How are you choosing who to vaccinate?
Patients are being prioritised for the vaccine according to the national prioritisation criteria; currently this is the over 80s and care home staff. More information about the prioritisation criteria is available here
Where are the clinics delivering vaccinations?
Vaccines will be offered in a range of community settings. Some teams will visit people to offer the vaccine, for example in care homes, other people may have to go to the nearest centre. Because some of the vaccine has to be stored in a very low temperature freezer, it is not possible to deliver it from all GP practices.
What if the centre I am offered is not easy to get to?
Please try to attend the vaccination centre you are offered. If you cannot attend that centre you may have to wait to get the vaccine. More clinics will open in the coming weeks and months.
Should I still go to my vaccination appointment in the national lockdown?
Leaving the house for medical reasons, including a Covid-19 vaccination appointment, is allowed. So if you are contacted by the NHS to book a vaccination appointment, it's crucial that you attend. Each service is carefully planned with strict safety measure in place.
How can I help?
There are three easy things you can do to support the vaccine rollout.
· Not to contact the NHS to seek a vaccine, they will contact you (if you haven't heard yet, they haven't forgotten you);
· When contacted, please attend your booked appointments;
· And really importantly, please continue to follow all the guidance to control the virus and save lives
For further information, visit: