All Croydon GP led vaccination centres are now up and running, so that all GP registered population is now covered. GP practices are working together at these sites in their Primary Care Networks to deliver the vaccine programme on top of their business-as-usual service caring for patients. This means the majority primary care sites are vaccinating 3 or 4 days a week.
You will have seen that this week the Government have asked us to add the over 70s to the groups of patients the NHS should prioritise. Each GP site will add the over 70s to the list of patients they call for appointments. The over 80s continue to be the first priority and because not all our vaccination sites went live at the same time, some over 80s have not yet been contacted. We expect the majority of over 80s to have been offered the vaccine by the end of January and those over 70 to have been offered the vaccine by 15 February 2021. Those over 70 will be able to come forward and receive the vaccine throughout the Covid-19 vaccination programme.
Data is held at a national level https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/covid-19-vaccinations/ Because of the complexity of the programme, the reported data is likely to be an under representation of actual progress.
The NHS will continue to contact people directly to invite them to receive the vaccine when it is their turn. This may be via the phone, text message or letter from a Croydon GP practice. We thank everyone who is waiting to be contacted by the NHS, the NHS is working flat out to offer it to as quickly and safely as we can. The NHS will let people know when it is their turn.
You can also find information about the Croydon covid-19 vaccination programme on the website.
Croydon University Hospital
Now operating 7 days a week with a focus on vaccinating front line health and care workers and those over 70s who are visiting the hospital for outpatient appointments or in hospital and well enough to receive the vaccine who don’t already have a booking at their GP or a large vaccination cente.
Large Vaccination Centres
You will have seen the announcement in the national media about Large Vaccination Centres which are now operational, the first large vaccination centre in Croydon due to go live will be Selhurst Park, Crystal Palace’s ground from early next month. We are pleased that some Croydon residents who are over 80 have received letters from the National Booking Services where they can book an appointment directly into one of these vaccination centres if they are available, our closest centre at the moment is Epsom Racecourse. Large vaccination sites will operate 7 days a week. As more large vaccination centres come on line there will be more choice for local people.
We are also working hard to vaccinate care home residents and workers, and are working to ensure we have offered all care home residents and workers the vaccination by Sunday 24 January 2021. We are also taking the vaccine to those patients who are housebound and would require a home visit. If those people who are housebound are offered an appointment at a centre, they should talk to their GP at the point they are contacted.
Engagement with Local Communities
We have been working with Croydon’s BME Forum and Asian Resource Centre, along with other borough partners to hold community conversations to give local people the opportunity to put their questions to a panel of experts including Dr Agnelo Fernandes, Dr Nnenna Osuji and Rachel Flowers. Over 600 people from our diverse communities have attended the first four sessions. Engagement sessions for this week include a session for care home and domiciliary staff and Age UK’s Personal Independence Coordinators and Healthy Living team.
Public Information on the programme for Residents and Community Groups
Core messages are below to share with residents and community groups:
- The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines are safe and effective. They will give you the best protection against coronavirus
- The NHS will let you know when it is your turn to have a vaccine. It is important not to contact the NHS for a vaccination before then
- You must have a booked appointment to receive your vaccine. Please do not turn up without an appointment – thank you to everyone for being patient and waiting to be contacted
- Please continue to follow all the guidance to control the virus and save lives - hands face space
Below are four public health leaflets with helpful information:
- Why do I have to wait for my COVID-19 vaccine
- What to expect after my COVID-19 vaccination
- COVID-19 vaccination guide for adults
- COVID-19 vaccination guide for healthcare workers
Questions (and answers) of the Week
As you can imagine, we have had a lot of questions from members of the public so here are some answers to some of this week’s top questions.
1. I’m over 80 and the NHS hasn’t contacted me yet but it has contacted lots of my over-80 friends, when will it be my turn?
If you are over 80, you are in a priority group. At this time, the vaccine is being offered to: care home residents and people who work in care homes; people aged 80 and over; health and care workers; over 70s and over.
We expect the majority of over 80s to have been offered the vaccine by the end of January, though over 80s will be able to come forward and receive the vaccine throughout the Covid-19 vaccination programme.
Not all vaccination sites went live at the same time so some over 80s will not yet have been contacted.
Please do not worry, if you’re over 80 and have not been offered an appointment yet, the NHS will offer you one soon.
2. Where will I get my vaccine?
When it’s your turn to be vaccinated, the NHS will contact you and invite you to a local Croydon centre. You may also receive a letter from the National Booking System, where you can book an appointment directly or wait for your local GP to contact you. You can find more information on our website at Croydon https://swlondonccg.nhs.uk/your-area/croydon/croydon-covid-19-vaccination-programme-update/
We know everyone is excited about the vaccine and the NHS is working flat out to offer it to as quickly and safely as we can. The NHS will let you know when it’s your turn to have the vaccine. Vaccination appointments are only available by invitation so there’s no need to contact your GP surgery or local site.
3. I am confused about my second dose of the vaccine? Can you explain it this to me?
Both vaccines have been authorised on the basis of two doses because the evidence from the clinical trials shows that this gives the maximum level of protection.
To ensure as many people are vaccinated as quickly as possible, the Department for Health and Social Care now advise that the second dose of both the Oxford/AstraZeneca and the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine should be scheduled up to 12 weeks apart.
The evidence doesn’t show any risk to not having the second dose other than not being as protected as you otherwise would be. We would urge everyone to show up for both of their appointments for their own protection as well as to ensure we don’t waste vaccines or the time of NHS staff.
Chief Executive and Place Based Leader for Health for Croydon
Dr Agnelo Fernandes
GP Borough Lead for Croydon
NHS South West London Clinical Commissioning Group