By Dr Mark Howcutt - 5th February 2021 3:30pm
Given the opening of a new mass vaccination centre in Aylesbury next week, we thought it would be helpful to clarify what options you have for your vaccination.
The Government has created four different routes to provide vaccinations:
1. GP-led local vaccination centres — like the one we at Haddenham Medical Centre are helping to run at the Stoke Mandeville Stadium (the Guttman Centre).
2. Pharmacy-led vaccination centres — like the one based at the Odeon cinema in Aylesbury.
3. Mass vaccination sites — initially a few massive sites like big conference centres in London, Birmingham, Stevenage and Slough — but now including the Aylesbury campus of Buckinghamshire New University on Walton Street (opposite the "Blue Leanie building").
4. Hospital hubs like Stoke Mandeville Hospital — they provide vaccines to frontline health and social care workers.
For our GP-led site, we contact patients by text initially and invite them to book an appointment online. If this is not possible or difficult for a patient, we ring them and do this on their behalf.
For the pharmacy-led sites and mass vaccination centre, patients are invited by receiving a letter from the NHS asking them to book using the NHS Vaccination Booking Service online or by ringing 119. Patients are then booked into a site within 30 to 45 minutes' drive from their home.
Unfortunately, the different booking systems used are not coordinated. In addition, the notification that you have had your vaccination does not come to us for a few days. These issues mean that sometimes patients will receive more than one invitation. We appreciate this may be frustrating for patients — it is for us! Please bear with us as this problem creates extra work for our team, but also please do not contact the practice to tell us that you have had your vaccination. We will receive that information.
We have no information formally about the mass vaccination centre at Buckingham New University, and likewise have no information about the Odeon site, I'm afraid — so that we are unable to answer questions about how they work, whether there is parking, etc.
We want our patients to be protected as soon as possible. So our advice remains:
when you are invited, get whichever COVID vaccine you can, wherever you can, and as soon as you can!
Dr Mark Howcutt
Haddenham Mewdical Centre
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