As I believe everyone knows Covid-19 vaccinations are currently being offered by the NHS; starting with people most at risk from coronavirus.
The NHS is currently focused on vaccinating first, those aged 80 plus with care home residents and staff and frontline health and care staff also as a first priority. The different groups have been agreed by the national Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation and have been well publicised. A second injection will be planned within 12 weeks at the time of the first one.
If you are in one of the top priority groups and have not heard yet, I have been reassured by the NHS that you have not been forgotten and you will be contacted.
I know that some people over 70 years of age have contacted the PRUH and some London hospitals, such as Guy’s, St Thomas’ and Kings, by phone. Some people have thus been able to be vaccinated with spare doses which might have gone to waste if not used. To be honest I think, now vaccinations for everyone over 70 are so very close, it is safer to wait at home for your call to be injected locally.
I gather that a mobile unit is being formed to vaccinate local people who are housebound and should start its operations next week. Again people should be contacted about this when the team can get to them.
Please note that under the overall control of the South East London Clinical Care Group, local Primary Care Networks (grouping of doctors surgeries called PCNs in NHS jargon) will give the first dose of the vaccine to everyone in the top four priority groups of people eligible for the COVID vaccine by mid-February.
May I make the following points:
- The NHS will get in touch when it is your turn to be vaccinated.
- Please do not contact the NHS to ask for the vaccination or when you will be contacted as services are under extreme pressure.
- When it is the right time, you will receive an invitation for a vaccination. You could be contacted by phone, text or letter. If the post is not working ( for many it has not been) and you miss an appointment because of that the system assures me it will contact you another way and ensure you do not miss out.
- When you are contacted, please act on the invite and attend your appointments when they are made.
- Please turn up on time and not too early.
- The vaccine is safe and effective and gives you, and the ones you love, the best protection against coronavirus.
There are currently four local vaccination sites. These are:
- The Health & Wellbeing Centre, Orpington
- The Beckenham Beacon, Beckenham
- The Oaks Park Medical Centre, Penge
- The Community House, South Street, Bromley
There is also a COVID-19 Test Centre established in the Station Car Park at Hayes. It opened on 20 January and I took the attached photograph of the ‘A Team’ in location today.
I hope that explains how the local vaccination system is working and when you can expect your turn for the first injection which will fix when your second one will take place too.