Bernard Hall Cuddington
By Dr Matk Howcutt - 9th December 2020 7:00pm
It is exciting news that the first few people in the UK have now had their COVID-19 vaccination. We are eagerly awaiting our chance to play a part in the vaccination programme.
The logistics are very complicated and we obviously all want this to start as quickly and safely as possible. Over the last few weeks, we have been involved in almost daily meetings in the practice and with our colleagues in other GP practices across Buckinghamshire to find a way of providing the COVID vaccination.
Although we really want to be able to provide the vaccine to our patients on our premises, this will not be possible (at least initially) as the first vaccine available has to be kept very cold, cannot be transported between sites, and must be delivered in very large batches that then must be used in just a few days.
We have been planning for how to distribute all of the vaccines that have been in development but now that we know that we first have the Pfizer vaccine, with its need to be stored and used in particular ways, we are working hard with other practices in Buckinghamshire to ensure that it reaches patients as efficiently and quickly as possible.
The ultimate plan will be to vaccinate as much of the population as possible, but this will be done in stages starting with the most vulnerable.
Patients over the age of 80, and residents and staff in care homes will the first in the queue.
Depending on your age and health conditions, you could be invited at any time in the next few months. The NHS will contact you to arrange your appointment as soon as there is a vaccine for you. In the meanwhile, please do not call the reception team for more information as we need to keep the telephone lines available for patients who may need urgent medical attention.
We would like to take this opportunity to ask our patients to be patient and bear with us. We are working hard to ensure that you can be vaccinated as soon as possible and we urge you to take up the vaccine as soon as it is offered to you by the NHS. Vaccines work best if a large proportion of the population plays their part and has the immunisation.
As a practice, we are hopeful that the vaccination will mean the beginning of the end of this horrible pandemic. But it is vital that we all continue with "hands, face, space" — washing our hands, using face coverings and maintaining social distancing — until we're all safely out of this.
Stay safe and please continue to be kind to one another and to yourself!
Dr Mark Howcutt
Haddenham Medical Centre