More letters from the NHS are being sent out this weekend, inviting some Buckinghamshire residents to book COVID-19 vaccination appointments at one of the new national mass vaccination sites.
Some residents in the highest priority groups for the vaccine (over 75s and 80s) will receive the letters offering the opportunity to book at one of the sites if they live around a 45 minute drive away. Some residents may also get letters inviting them to book a vaccine at a local pharmacy-run site here in Buckinghamshire.
The system for booking at these sites is being run by the NHS nationally, and the letter explains how to book a vaccine appointment either on the phone or online.
However, the vaccination programme is also being rolled out locally by Bucks GP surgeries so if residents over the age of 80 are offered an appointment at a national site outside Buckinghamshire and would prefer to wait, all patients in this age range will be offered a vaccination appointment locally through their GP practice by the end of January.
The national centres aim to provide residents with choice so if you choose not to take up a national appointment you will still be offered a local one.
GP practices in Bucks have formed eight local vaccination hubs, which means you won’t go to your usual surgery to get the vaccine and will go to one of these eight GP run local sites instead. There are also plans to add an additional local site in the south of the county in the coming weeks.
There are four ways in which Bucks residents can be vaccinated:
- Via one of these eight local GP-led sites, which will all be fully open by 25 January (seven are already running)
- Via a pharmacy vaccination site; two will open next week in Marlow and Wycombe with a third opening in Buckingham during w/c 25 January. Bookings will be made via the national booking system
- Via one of the national mass vaccination sites, again using the national booking system. Some of these are already open in England and we expect to have two mass vaccination sites set up in Buckinghamshire
- Via a hospital site if you’re a health or care worker
Please do not contact your GP as people will be contacted directly to make their vaccine appointment when it’s their turn. This is the case for using the national booking system too.
Martin Tett, Leader of Buckinghamshire Council said:
“It’s brilliant news that the vaccination programme is accelerating and that Bucks residents will have these options available and can choose where they want to have the vaccine. Around 20,000 people in Buckinghamshire have already been vaccinated and capacity to deliver the vaccines is growing rapidly. It means that we expect everyone in the top four priority groups to have been vaccinated against COVID-19 by the middle of February. So even if you’re still waiting to hear about your appointment, please be assured that it won’t be long now if you’re in one of the top priority groups.
I know just how important this information is to people so we’ve set up some dedicated pages on our website about the COVID-19 vaccination programme in Buckinghamshire along with answers to many of the questions we are regularly asked. These pages are being regularly updated so please do use this as a resource for information”.