Coronavirus Vaccine Update 05/02/21

What’s new this week at Watership Down Health?

 How are we doing?

  • The total number of our patients vaccinated is 3,442 (19%)
  • We have achieved 93% coverage in the over 80 age group in total
  • We have achieved 83% coverage in the over 75-79 age group in total
  • We have achieved 65% coverage in the over 70-74 age & Clinically Extremely Vulnerable groups in total

Developments

We are very pleased to confirm that all local Care Home residents who wanted to have the vaccine, and are able to have it, have now been vaccinated with their first dose.

All of our patients aged over 80 years have also now been invited and the vast majority of those have been vaccinated (100% at this point is almost impossible, because anyone who has tested positive for Covid-19 within the last 4 weeks must wait to be vaccinated until after the 4 weeks have passed. We are, of course, monitoring this closely and will ensure that these patients are vaccinated as soon as timing allows).

We are now inviting those in the 70-79 age group and also those under 70 years who have medical conditions that make them clinically extremely vulnerable. Many have already attended the vaccination centre this week and many more are booked to attend next week.

The second dose of vaccine will be given 11 weeks after the first dose. Those attending the clinic from now on will automatically have this second appointment booked and confirmed at the time. If you have already had your first dose, please do not be concerned; you will be contacted by telephone to confirm the date and time of your next visit. There is no need for you to telephone the surgery to arrange your second appointment; we will call you.

Vaccination of health and care workers is being coordinated through the employing organisations so if you are in this group and have any queries or concerns, please refer to your organisation for advice.

Focus on – vaccination invitations

We know from your feedback that there has been some confusion regarding some people receiving more than one communication about your vaccination options. These are explained below to clarify the position.

Groups of people are invited for vaccination according to Government guidelines. The groups are largely related to age as this is proven to be the highest risk factor for serious complications.

As each age group becomes eligible to be invited for vaccination, your GP surgery generates a text invitation to all those patients who have a mobile phone number recorded in their medical record. This text includes an electronic link to book online at the GP vaccination service; ours is at the Hampshire Court Hotel in Basingstoke. Those with no mobile telephone number recorded, along with those that do not respond to the text, will be telephoned by someone at the surgery or by one of the wider team of people supporting the GP vaccination programme, ensuring that no-one misses out on the opportunity to be vaccinated. You may also receive a letter in the post inviting you to call a central number at the hotel (not your practice) to book your vaccination.

In addition you may also receive a letter in the post from NHS England. This letter contains details of a range of other vaccination sites in the area and beyond, along with electronic links to book an appointment at one of these. The list of vaccination sites is growing all the time as new facilities are opened up.

You are free to choose which site to attend by using the appropriate link to the online booking system in either the text or the letter. The link in the text from the practice will allow you to book at the Hampshire Court Hotel; the link in the letter from NHS England will give you access to any of the other venues available – please note that availability varies all the time, and that your favoured time or venue may not always be available – you can try again later, if that is the case.

Just to summarise, there are 2 forms of invitation:

  • A text invitation (from your practice – it will say from Watership Down Health) to the GP-led hub at the Hampshire Court Hotel. You can only book at the hotel GP hub at the Hampshire Court Hotel from this text and cannot book at any of the alternatives venues. You may also be telephoned directly inviting you to book at the Hampshire Court Hotel, or you may receive a letter from your practice inviting you to book here, by your practice.
  • A letter (from NHS England) inviting you to any of the other venues available. You can only book at the alternative venues via this letter and cannot book at the GP hub at the Hampshire Court Hotel.

Although each of the vaccination facilities is being set up independently and the local GPs have no influence on these, they are all part of the national vaccination programme supporting people to get access to the vaccine. We welcome the additional services, especially as we get closer to having to give the second dose of vaccine as well as continuing to invite additional age groups to have their first one.

There are busy times ahead so please do bear with us!

And finally…

The Covid Vaccination Programme is a mammoth undertaking and will be with us for many months. Staff throughout the NHS, voluntary agencies and our patients are all working really hard to progress the vaccination programme and we would like to say a huge thank you to all.

We must also acknowledge the incredible efforts of the many volunteers giving up their time to help ensure the programme is working so well – a huge thank you to everyone who is helping out.