COVID-19 vaccinations being offered by Hertfordshire GPs
Hundreds of residents aged 80 and over will receive their first COVID-19 immunisation at a vaccination centre near their homes this week.
GP-led local vaccination centres are beginning to open their doors in Hertfordshire with more to follow next week and early in the new year.
In line with national guidance and to protect those who are the most as risk first, the vaccine is initially being offered to people aged over 80.
GP practices are working through their patient lists and will contact people when it is their turn to be vaccinated.
Dr Jane Halpin, the chief executive of our area’s three GP-led Clinical Commissioning Groups, said: “The amount of work that has gone into preparing for the biggest ever vaccination programme in the history of the NHS cannot be overestimated.
"The work undertaken by primary care has been simply remarkable. In addition, our district and county council colleagues, the police and the wider family of NHS organisations have been involved in supporting a number of the Primary care sites to bring the vaccine into local communities in a safe and secure way.
"I would like to thank everyone who has played a part in helping to protect our population from the virus which has had such a profound effect on all of our lives this year.”
Getting the vaccine to all those in the priority groups will take some time and the virus will continue to present a risk for some time.
Everyone can play their part to assist the vaccination programme by:
- waiting to be contacted by the NHS – you will be invited to an appointment when it is your turn. Remember the NHS will never ask you to pay for a COVID-19 vaccination
- attending both of your booked appointments
- continuing to follow all the guidance to control the spread of the virus and save lives.
In the Herts Valleys CCG area, vaccination centres opening this week include:
> Batchwood Club for practices across St Albans
> Sheepcot Surgery for practices in North Watford
> Colne Surgery for practices in Rickmansworth and Chorleywood
> Bridgewater House for practices in Watford and Garston.
Dr Simon Hodes GP, of Bridgewater Surgery in Watford said: “The Covid vaccine programme is the largest vaccination campaign in NHS history.
"Locally, our practice teams across Watford have been working tirelessly to get all the elements in place, from fridges to parking signs, to ensure we have got a safe and efficient system for vaccinating patients, whilst maintaining all our usual service.
"You can help by waiting to be contacted by us and not ringing to ask for a vaccination appointment. Don’t worry – we will be getting in touch with all eligible patients.
“The entire medical profession is very excited to see this safe and effective vaccine arrive to help protect our patients. Hopefully this is the beginning of the final phase of the pandemic.”
Everyone who is vaccinated will need a booster jab after 21 days. It takes a few weeks after getting the second dose for the person’s antibodies to reach their optimum level.
The vaccine is safe and effective for the vast majority of people – it has been tested on thousands of people and assessed by experts.
You can find out more about the vaccine and how it works by reading the information from Public Health England which is available here.