Somerset COVID vaccination – next steps
Somerset CCG announced this morning that teams are preparing to begin vaccinating care home residents and staff. Vaccinations will start now in the period between Christmas and New Year.
At the same time two more GP-led community sites will begin vaccinating local people as well. The first groups will be people aged over 80 and health and care staff. The new centres to offer vaccinations in the community are not GP surgeries. however the service will be GP led. The centres are North Petherton Rugby Club near Bridgwater and the Mendip District Council offices in Shepton Mallet.
- There is a strict order of priority for getting people vaccinated
- Please don’t contact the NHS to seek a vaccine, they will contact you;
- When you are contacted, please attend your booked appointments. You will be given all the information that you need. Staff will be on hand to answer any questions you may have at your vaccination appointment.
- And please continue to follow all the guidance to control the spread of the virus and save lives
So to recap, the vaccination programme in Somerset has started the roll out as follows:
- 7 December Yeovil hospital is one of 50 hospital hubs in the UK to start local vaccinations
- 14 December, vaccinations began at four GP-led sites in community locations. The first four GP-led sites where patients received vaccinations were at Taunton Vale Healthcare, Taunton; The Mulberry Centre, Berrow; West Mendip Community Hospital, Glastonbury; and The Gateway Centre in Yeovil.
- 20 December, vaccinations also began at three further GP-led sites. These were at Frome Medical Centre, Minehead Community Hospital and Henhayes Community Centre, Crewkerne.
At present only the Pfizer vaccination is licensed for use and has been delivered to the sites above. This comes with some significant logistical challenges. primarily these are connected with storage requirements and transport. These sites have worked through the complicated logistics required to deliver the vaccine safely. This involves ensuring clinical supplies, IT equipment, printed patient leaflets and bins are available. There are staff on hand to greet patients, explain the vaccine to them and take informed consent, draw up the vaccine, administer it and record it.
Please bear in mind that the Astra Zeneca vaccine is not yet approved for use. When it is the vaccination programme will accelerate significantly.