The vaccination programme against Coronavirus has been a spectacular success nationally and locally with everyone in groups one to nine (those aged 50 and over, at higher risk due to a health condition or a carer or front-line health and social care worker or living in a care home) having been offered and had at least one vaccination and an increasing number having had their second. We are inviting everyone for these to be done between eleven and twelve weeks after the first one. We completed the round of home visiting and care home residents before Easter and all the remaining second vaccinations will be at the Michael Herbert Hall in Wilton for those who were first vaccinated in this GP-led service. If you had your first vaccination elsewhere that service is where you should have the second and they may have been able to book the review appointment at the first vaccination (something we couldn’t do in Wilton as vaccine supply was not guaranteed as it was for the mass vaccination sites).
On 13 April 2021 it was announced that everyone aged 45 and over can now book for their first vaccination, as well as anyone in a higher group not yet vaccinated. Some people may have been waiting for more real-life experience of the programme before committing to vaccination or were unable to be vaccinated when first invited (locked-down away from home or unwell). If that is you and you now want vaccination you can book this through the national booking system as well.
This is done through the NHS on-line booking site, or by ringing 119. When booking you will be asked for your NHS number and date of birth. This should be on the NHS letter about this that you may have received or are about to receive. The on-line site has good information about the vaccination process and will show when the age range lowers as the programme progresses. If you haven’t had a letter but are eligible you can still book and should do so using the national booking system.
If it is not yet your turn please do not attempt to book your vaccination.
The only way to be vaccinated sooner than your age group will be if your personal circumstances have changed (or were not recorded on your notes) – you have a new medical condition or treatment that puts you into a higher risk group (like diabetes or cancer or treatments lowering your immunity) or you have become a carer for someone eligible for vaccination whose health would be put at risk if you could not fulfil your caring role or you have become a front-line health or social care worker. If you have any of these changes or feel we may not have added this information to your notes please let the surgery know and we can add appropriate codes so that you can then book your vaccination.
The surgery cannot book any of the vaccinations for this extension of the programme. The bookings are all done on the national service and by you. If you are in the new eligible group and have not received your letter with your NHS number we can provide you with this. The best and quickest way to ask us without disrupting the normal running of the surgery (which is now twice as busy as two years ago) is by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. That way we can update your records (many of the emails on our patients are out of date) and you will have a permanent record of your NHS number when we reply.
The vaccinations will all be done at mass vaccination sites (not at our GP-led site in Wilton) and when booking you will be offered a choice of sites and appointment dates / times and may be able to book for the first and second appointments.
Our Wilton site will be providing the second vaccinations to those people who had their first vaccination in our service. It has not been approved to provide the vaccinations for people aged 49 and younger. If this changes and the site is needed in the future we will let our patients know.
P M Craig-McFeely FRCGP, senior partner, Hindon Surgery