As Covid vaccinations start at Wareham Hospital, there’s now new dates for more clinics next week but GPs are pleading not to be overwhelmed by enquiries.
The most vulnerable over 80s in Purbeck will get their jabs over the next three days starting on Thursday 14th January 2021 and now two more batches of Covid vaccine are expected to arrive soon.
It’s hoped that this should ensure that most of Purbeck’s over 80s, care home residents, carers and frontline NHS staff will get the vaccine by the end of next week.
Six more days of vaccination appointments
Following the clinic from Thursday 14th to Saturday 16th January 2021, it’s now planned to have six more days of vaccination appointments at Wareham Hospital from Monday 18th to Saturday 23rd January 2021.
It’s also expected that local care homes and their staff will start getting their jabs from Monday 18th January 2021.
Organising the Covid vaccine clinics at Wareham Hospital and the care home innoculations is the Purbeck Primary Care Network, which consists of Swanage Medical Practice, Corfe Castle Surgery, Wareham Surgery, Bere Regis Surgery, Sandford Surgery and The Wellbridge Practice.
With the complex logistics of the rollout across England, it’s been hard for the Purbeck Primary Care Network and local GPs to know exactly when they would receive their allocation of the vaccine.
“An extraordinary amount of effort”
Dr James Jackson is senior GP partner at Bere Regis Surgery and clinical director of the Purbeck Primary Care Network. He said:
“The rollout of the Covid-19 vaccination programme is one of the biggest projects the NHS has undertaken and it has seen everyone involved put in an extraordinary amount of effort over the past weeks and months.
“We are offering the vaccination here in Purbeck in line with the national guidance and I am encouraging anyone who is invited, to take up the offer and get themselves protected.
“However at the same time, I am asking people to be patient – we will contact you and make the appointment when the time is right.”
“We just can’t cope with people calling us about the vaccine”
Understandably, local residents have been keen to find out when they will get their vaccine jab but Swanage Medical Practice senior partner, Dr Jason Clark is appealing to patients not to ring the surgery to enquire. He said:
“We just can’t cope with people calling us about the vaccine. Every time we have to answer the phone, it’s diverting resources away from getting the vaccine appointment letters out. We will be contacting everyone including the care homes, so please just wait and we will be in touch.
“The priority, in line with the government guidance is to get those in group one and two, vaccinated first. Group one is care home residents and staff, while group two is the over 80’s and frontline NHS staff. Some medical staff have already been able to get vaccinated at Dorset County Hospital, so we should be able to get most of the first two groups vaccinated by the end of next week.
The next group will be the over 75’s and those who are so clinically vulnerable that they are being advised to shield. I know that waiting for a vaccine for some in this category has been distressing, but you have not been forgotten.
“In Purbeck we’ve been late off the block in receiving the vaccine. Within Dorset it has been distributed on the basis of the area’s number of elderly and deprivation factors. But we’ve now been through the process of allocation and further supplies have been agreed, so we are now contacting people as soon as we can.
“In the meantime, the best protection against getting Covid is to stay at home. Our area is now in the higher group for the number of cases and there was a shocking jump in the number of cases last week.
“People in Swanage have quite rightly felt that coronavirus hasn’t been a big problem here but the new figures aren’t showing that now. The hospitals are under huge pressure – this week, an ambulance that had a patient with Covid, had to wait seven hours outside Poole Hospital before the patient could be admitted.
“To beat the virus, the best way is to remove the possibility of it transferring. If people don’t get close to each other, the virus will just die out.
“On a positive note, it’s phenomenal that we have got a Covid vaccine within a year, from the start of development, to getting it into people’s arms. And it’s just in the nick of time!”
Mass vaccination at Bournemouth International Centre
As well as Wareham Hospital, a mass vaccination centre will be opening soon at the Bournemouth International Centre (BIC). Swanage residents may soon start to get NHS letters inviting them to go online to book a vaccination at the BIC, but Dr Jason Clark advises that if they have got an appointment organised at Wareham Hospital, they can ignore the BIC invite.