Herts Valleys CCG lifts lid on what people can expect at Hemel's vaccination centre

The vaccination centre opened on Maxted Road last week

Friday, 15th January 2021, 12:31 pm
Updated Friday, 15th January 2021, 12:34 pm

Herts Valley CCG is offering some guidance on what people can expect after a Covid-19 vaccination centre opened in Hemel Hempstead last week.

The centre opened on Maxted Road on Thursday, January 7, and the MP for Hemel Hempstead Sir Mike Penning praised the volunteers and medical staff after volunteering in the evening.

But one woman, whose parents went to the vaccine centre on Thursday, is hoping that the centre can make improvements, after claiming they witnessed a lack of social distancing inside the building.

Vaccine stock image

She said: "After each of their jabs they had to wait in another room, where there was no social distancing, before they could leave. The whole process took about two hours in total.

"I just think we are being told to follow these guidelines - 'Hands, Face, Space' - but once inside the centre, from my sister and parents' experience, the social distancing guidelines were not being adhered to.

"There were a lot of people there, and I think some of that was from where some people were turning up early. The NHS has made it clear that people should turn up on time, not early and not late, for their appointments, and it is important that everyone follows that.

"They are doing an amazing job and I don't want to criticise them, I just think it could have been a bit more organised and planned a bit better, to make it safer for elderly people.

"I also gave my feedback on the NHS website and hopefully, they can improve on that and the experience will be better for others."

Herts Valleys CCG said that all vaccination centres have been set up as COVID secure, with mandatory social distancing, face masks and hand sanitation.

Yesterday (Thursday) a lady contacted The Gazette to share her positive experience at the vaccine centre, and wanted to praise the 'polite and helpful' staff. Read full story here. A spokesperson from the Herts Valley CCG said: “This is the biggest vaccination programme the NHS has ever undertaken, and NHS staff have done an incredible job in vaccinating hundreds of thousands of people across the East of England in a number of weeks.

“All vaccination centres have been set up as COVID secure and we ask the public to support our staff by following social distancing guidelines at our centres, wearing a face covering unless they are exempt, and arriving for their vaccination at their allotted time, not in advance.”

According to figures gathered by the JPIMedia Data Unit, in the East of England, as of January 10, 186,291 people had received the first dose of the vaccination for COVID-19 - 104,687 were over 80 and 81,604 were under 80 - 49,732 people had received the second dose of the vaccine - 42,841 were over 80 and 6,891 were under 80.

Herts Valleys CCG is urging people to turn up to their agreed appointment time, on time - not late and not too early either.

They have offered the following guidance:

> If you arrive to the vaccination centre by car you may be asked to wait in your vehicle until it is your turn.

> Only those who are receiving the vaccine should enter the site (unless you require assistance from someone with you).

> The vaccination itself is a brief, simple injection, most often into your upper arm like the flu jab. We do some more checks here to make sure everything is registered in your record. After the injection you may be asked to sit and wait for a short amount of time, as is the case with many vaccinations.

> Each vaccination centre is organised differently, but all are keeping people socially distanced throughout the process to make sure you and our staff stay safe.

> In some locations, you might need to temporarily wait outside, so please dress appropriately for winter weather but ensure you can easily expose your upper arm, ready for vaccination once it’s your turn inside.

> Staff and volunteers will be available to provide assistance if necessary: please ask if you need any help, or if you have any questions.

> Please wear a mask unless you are exempt, and follow directions from staff to help protect you and others.

For more information visit the Herts Valleys CCG website.