THE Covid-19 vaccine will be rolled out by GPs and practice teams in Bedford Borough in the first week of January, as the most extensive vaccination programme in the history of the NHS begins to ramp up.
Residents over 80, care home workers and NHS staff who are considered to be most at risk will be prioritised, with other age groups and vulnerabilities being offered the vaccine within weeks.
The sites where the vaccine will be rolled out are currently being finalised and more detail will be provided in the new year.
Dr Nicola Smith, Chair of Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group said: “This is a tremendous challenge for primary care, which is delivering the most extensive vaccination programme in history through the busiest winter we’ve ever faced, whilst maintaining routine care for our patients and making every effort to keep our workforce safe. We are up to the challenge and our teams are working tirelessly in Bedford Borough to make sure that all the logistics are in place, and lessons have been learned from the first wave of PCNs, so we can deliver the vaccine safely and closer to home”.
Eligible patients over 80 and care home workers will be invited to attend a PCN vaccination centre if they are registered with one of the groups of practices that is delivering the vaccine. Residents are being advised not to ring into their GP surgery to request the vaccine, practice teams will be contacting patients in the new year to invite them for an appointment.
Dr Smith added: “Whilst news of the vaccine is being met positively by residents in our communities, we need to be mindful that Covid-19 remains prevalent and we continue to see an increase in infections within Bedford Borough. This is a marathon and not a sprint, and so we ask that everyone continues to observe the guidance on hands, face – so we safeguard our communities, protect our NHS services and roll out the vaccine to those most in need.”