These questions are answered by Dr Catherine Beanland, Portcullis Surgery; Dr Caron Morton, Station Drive Surgery; Rachel Robinson, Director of Public Health for Shropshire.
- Where will we get vaccinated?
- What are the priorities for vaccination?
- When will I get vaccinated and why are other areas getting vaccinations first?
- How will I be contacted when my vaccination is due?
- Which type of vaccination will be offered and will I have a choice?
- How long will it take for me to be immune from Covid-19 after the vaccination?
- I am a retired health professional. Can I help with the vaccine rollout? Can I help even in other ways?
This article is the third in a series.
Andy Boddington and Tracey Huffer, Shropshire Councillors for Ludlow North and East
Q12. Where will we get vaccinated?
GP surgeries will be participating in the vaccination rollout. They will also provide clinical care to their patients as usual but may reduce routine clinical care at times to accommodate for vaccine delivery. Depending on their capacity and on the contract their PCN has signed, they will be vaccinating in care homes, on home visits and helping ensure vaccination of each age group cohort is achieved in our area. Many pharmacies are also expected to deliver vaccinations.
Vaccinations will be also given at the following locations. It is anticipated that all will be operational before the end of January.
- Shrewsbury (RSH) – currently operational
Local Vaccination Services:
- Bridgnorth – currently operational
- Market Drayton
- Oswestry (RJAH) – currently operational.
Other locations are being considered. The ambitions are to provide a vaccination site within 40 minutes travel time for everyone nationally and a shorter travel time in Shropshire. Arrangements for transport for those without a vehicle are being examined. If you are housebound or at risk from travel, a home visit will be provided.
Vaccination takes place in a pod – a booth – and each centre will have several pods. Larger sites such as at Telford will have 16 pods. A single pod will on average vaccinate 300 people a day, allowing for time to manage patients, vaccinate and monitor them for 15 minutes.
Q13. What are the priorities for vaccination?
Vaccination in Shropshire will follow the national priority list. This has nine cohorts beginning with people in care homes and ending with people aged 50 and above.
Cohort 1. Residents in a care home for older adults and their carers.
Cohort 2. All those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers.
Cohort 3. All those 75 years of age and over.
Cohort 4. All those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals.
Cohort 5. All those 65 years of age and over.
Cohort 6. All individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality.
Cohort 7. All those 60 years of age and over.
Cohort 8. All those 55 years of age and over.
Cohort 9. All those 50 years of age and over.
It is estimated that taken together, these groups represent around 99% of preventable mortality from COVID-19.
Informal carers are not currently a priority group but the people they care for will usually be included in the cohorts above.
Q14. When will I get vaccinated and why are other areas getting vaccinations first?
Every CCG area had to pilot one hospital and one community site. For Telford and Wrekin, these were the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Bridgnorth. The pilots were successful and provided lessons that will be used in the rollout of vaccination across the county which will be led by the CCG in some areas and in others by the local PCN.
Vaccination of Cohort 1 (care homes) and Cohort 2 (over eighties and front line health workers) is currently underway across the county. Vaccination is to begin in GP surgeries and a vaccination centre at Ludlow Racecourse will be set up in early February.
Currently, more than 10,000 vaccinations have taken place across Shropshire. The rate of delivery is being increased daily. The current target for Shropshire, including Telford and Wrekin, is 15,000 vaccinations a week in January, 25,000 a week in February and 36,000 a week in March. The government’s aim is to vaccinate Cohorts 1 to 4 by mid February.
Q15. How will I be contacted when my vaccination is due?
A combination of letters, telephone calls and texts will be used. Recall systems will ensure you are followed up if you don’t attend. If you attend your first appointment you will protect yourself earlier and help build up community immunity to Covid-19 more quickly. Usually, you will be given one week to 10 days’ notice of your appointment.
A record of the vaccine doses you receive will be recorded under your NHS number and on a national database.
Q16. Which type of vaccination will be offered and will I have a choice?
Currently the Pfizer vaccine is being administered. Over the next few weeks, the Oxford vaccine will be available. Which vaccine you receive will depend on availability and the setting in which you receive it. For example, the Pfizer vaccine is more difficult to administer in individual homes.
It is unlikely at present that you will have a choice except where you might have a potential reaction to one of the vaccines.
Q17. How long will it take for me to be immune from Covid-19 after the vaccination?
This is a complex question to answer as it depends on which vaccine is used and the spacing between doses.
Vaccines are not 100% effective in everyone. Pfizer for example is understood to be 95% effective after two doses. That still leaves 1 in 20 people vulnerable to Covid-19. The Oxford vaccine is less effective but still provides enough immunity to significantly slow the spread of the disease and protect most people vaccinated.
Vaccination will not free you from any restrictions currently in force during lockdown or under the tier system. You should also continue to follow the guidelines of hands, face and space.
Q18. I am a retired health professional. Can I help with the vaccine rollout? Can I help even in other ways?
Yes. Recruiting the workforce needed for the most ambitious vaccination campaign in Britain’s history is challenging. We need people with medical experience. People who can help with administration. People to guide people to their vaccination pod. These and other roles urgently need to be filled.
Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group and the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH) are coordinating the ‘be part of history’ campaign to recruit former health professionals and volunteers to staff the vaccination centres. Further details. If you are not in Shropshire, check with your local CCG or health trust.
12 January. Q14 updated to provide latest information on plans for vaccination rollout.