CCG clarifies Vaccination situation in Wells
A number of older residents in Wells have raised concerns about the COVID 19 vaccination process. Some are concerned at an apparent move to vaccinate the 70+ cohort. Despite the fact that many over 80s have still to be vaccinated. Meanwhile others have complained of being offered the “opportunity” to travel to Taunton or Bristol. This is not always practical for elderly residents.
We put these points to Somerset CCG. In response they have issued a long statement which is worth reading in detail. It will not reassure everyone. However it should give some comfort that everyone will get called for a vaccination locally in due course.
“Wells City Practice and Wells Health Centre form part of the West Mendip Primary Care Network (PCN) , who are working together as a group of GP practices to roll out the local NHS vaccination programme in Somerset. Currently all vaccines are being delivered from Local Vaccination Centres, for the West Mendip PCN this is at West Mendip Community Hospital, in Glastonbury. GP practices are working together within their primary care network, rather than individually. “
“Vaccine appointments are being offered to residents across the PCN to vaccinate everyone in the West Mendip population from the highest priority groups. Vaccine clinics will continue to run, in line with scheduled deliveries for people who are aged 80 and over, care home residents and staff and frontline health and care workers.“
“People who are aged over 80 who have not yet been contacted by their GP practice to arrange a vaccination appointment, will also receive a letter from the NHS to invite them to their nearest large vaccination site, which could be a journey of up to 45 minutes from where they live. In Somerset the current options include Ashton Gate in Bristol and now Taunton Racecourse. People will be invited by letter, to book their jab through the new national booking services by phone, or online.”
However it is important to note this is a different process. if you like it is a fast track alternative that recognises nbot everyone will be able to take advantage of it. As the CCG tell us “This is an additional option for people to have their COVID-19 vaccination, but if people are unable to travel or would rather wait for an appointment closer to home, they can wait to be contacted by their local GP-led service over the next few weeks.“
“Practice teams from the West Mendip Primary Care Network are all working extremely hard to offer vaccination appointments to people in the highest priority groups as quickly and safely as possible. If you have not yet been contacted by your GP practice, we can assure you, everyone will be called as soon as possible.”
Meanwhile this morning’s Cabinet meeting of Somerset County Council also had COVID on the agenda. Communications Director, Simon Clifford reminded people that the vaccination is only a first step. He stated that those with a first vaccination can still transmit the virus. People who have had a vaccination should continue to follow the lockdown rules carefully.