More COVID-19 vaccination centres are coming to Buckinghamshire this week, with GP-led sites opening in High Wycombe Town Centre and Aylesbury this week, in addition to the 5 sites which are already up and running to deliver vaccines to patients aged 80 and over.
Another GP-led site will follow soon in Buckingham, and a further site is being planned for the south of the county, as the vaccination programme continues to gather pace across Buckinghamshire.
We expect that by the end of this month all patients over the age of 80 should receive an invitation for a vaccination appointment.
A number of pharmacy vaccination sites will also be launched in Buckinghamshire; sites in Marlow and Wycombe are due to open and start vaccinating people during next week. Additional sites in other areas of the county are due to open very soon too.
And two more mass vaccination centres are also in the process of being set up – more details will follow on these in due course.
So far more than 12,000 vaccinations have been given to patients across Buckinghamshire, including nearly 2,000 delivered to health and social care staff at a ‘Hospital Hub’ managed by Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust.
GP-led vaccination sites for patients are already up and running in:
- Chalfont St Peter
- Princes Risborough
- High Wycombe
Several national mass vaccination sites are also being set up by the NHS which are outside of the county. Some Buckinghamshire residents aged 80 and over, who live 30-45 minutes from the nearest of these sites, may have received a letter on these from the NHS in recent days. This letter explains how they can book a slot through the national system if they do not wish to use the local system (the GP-led sites described above).
Currently, the mass vaccination sites closest to Buckinghamshire are:
- Epsom racecourse in Surrey (South East)
- Excel Centre in London (London)
- Robertson House in Stevenage (East of England)
If residents have received a letter but do not want to attend one of these Mass Vaccination sites, it will not affect their ability to get an appointment at a local site through your GP.
As well as people aged 80 and over, care home residents and staff, along with health and social care workers are being prioritised in this first phase of the national vaccination rollout. This is in line with the national Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) prioritisation programme.
The Government has announced that the top four priority groups in the JCVI list will be completed by mid-February.
Residents are being asked to please not contact their GP surgery to arrange an appointment. The NHS will contact patients when the time is right for their vaccination appointment to be arranged.
Martin Tett, Leader of Buckinghamshire Council, said: “These are extremely difficult times for all of us, but it is important to remember that the pace of the vaccination programme is increasing in Buckinghamshire and we are pushing hard to make sure things move faster going forward. We hope that residents can be reassured that there is a way out of this pandemic, and that their area will soon be covered by a vaccination centre if it is not already. More age groups and vulnerable patients will be offered the vaccination over the coming weeks and months, in line with the national priorities of the phased rollout.
“We would ask that residents please be patient and not call their GP practice to arrange a vaccination appointment. The NHS will instead contact you when the time is right. I appreciate this has been a frustrating time and we are all eager to see those most in need get their vaccinations as soon as possible, but your patience and support is greatly appreciated.
“In the meantime, I would ask everyone to please continue to follow the ‘Stay at Home’ rules to the letter to help keep yourself and your loved ones safe, and to protect the NHS.”
Details of the vaccination programme in Buckinghamshire can be found on the Council’s website https://www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/coronavirus/community-hub/covid-19-vaccination-programme/