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Friday 15 January 2021

This week, three more GP-led community vaccination sites will start to vaccinate people in highest priority groups in Somerset. The final three primary care network (PCN) areas will join the existing ten sites launched over the past few weeks across the county, as part of a phased delivery plan.

The new vaccination sites include: Wincanton Community Hospital, College Way Surgery in Taunton, and Wellington Community Hospital. Practice teams have been working hard to develop and prepare the new community locations, ready to welcome the first people to have their vaccine over the next few days.

Health and care teams across the county have been working closely with national NHS colleagues to set up local GP vaccination services for the most vulnerable people, alongside the national delivery schedule. 

It is expected that the new GP-led sites will be using both the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and the newly approved Oxford/AstraZeneca for the priority groups identified by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) including care home residents, people aged over 80 and frontline health and care staff. 

Andy Heron, joint senior responsible officer for the Somerset COVID-19 vaccination programme, said: “We are really delighted to launch our final three PCN sites – this will ensure that we can increase the number of vaccine appointments we can offer in the community, across all thirteen PCN areas, in addition to the hospital hubs running at Musgrove Park Hospital and Yeovil District Hospital. 

 “We want to thank everyone for patiently waiting to be contacted. Health and care colleagues from across the county are working extremely hard to ensure that we can offer the COVID-19 vaccines as quickly and safely as possible.  We are confident, that through our new sites and the second COVID-19 Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, we can really start to accelerate our local programme.”

Vaccinations began on Wednesday this week at the Wincanton Community Hospital site, Dr Daniel Edmonds, from Queen Camel surgery said

”On behalf of the Rural Practice Network, I am delighted that we can now begin offering Covid vaccinations to the most vulnerable members of our community here at Wincanton Community Hospital. I would like to thank the Community Hospital for all the work that has been done to make this possible and we appreciate all the local support and good wishes we have already received from the local community.”

Vaccinations are also expected to start this weekend at Wellington Community Hospital and College Way Surgery in Taunton. GP practice teams will be joining forces with Somerset County Council and District Council colleagues to call as many eligible people as possible, from the high priority groups to arrange vaccination appointments.

Dr David Badham, from College Way Surgery explained “We know that this has been a very anxious time for everyone waiting to hear when they will be invited to get their vaccine. We’re so pleased to be starting our vaccination programme and want to reassure everyone that we will be pulling out all the stops to ensure that everyone can be vaccinated as quickly as possible.”

It is expected that over the next few weeks the NHS vaccination programme will ramp up across all thirteen GP-led community sites and two hospital hubs to offer vaccination appointments for a significant proportion of our highest risk patients across all sites.

In addition to vaccination appointments at GP-led sites, clinical teams are working extremely hard to work through a detailed timetable to support the roll out of the Oxford vaccine to vaccinate all care home residents and staff to meet the new Government target of 24 January 2021.

Dr Sarah Burford, from Lister House partnership added “We are delighted to start vaccinating the patients of Wellington Medical Centre, LUSON and Lister House surgeries today. It has been a huge effort to set up the vaccination centre at Wellington Cottage Hospital and this has been possible because of a strong collaboration between our practices, Somerset Foundation Trust and Somerset County Council.

“Your GP practice will be in touch with you directly to organise an appointment when it is your turn for a vaccination.  Please also remember that vaccination is only part of the picture and continue to follow government guidelines. Thank you for your patience and support at this difficult time.”

People are asked to support the NHS:

•           Please don’t contact the NHS or visit any of our sites to ask about your vaccine, we will contact you;

•           When we do contact you, please attend your booked appointments;

•           And please continue to follow all the guidance to control the spread of the virus and save lives.

For more information on the NHS vaccination in Somerset please visit: https://www.somersetccg.nhs.uk/health/local-services/health-services-during-coronavirus/covid-19-vaccinations-in-somerset/

For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine please visit: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/coronavirus-vaccine/