GPs in Hitchin & Whitwell are working hard to vaccinate everyone in the priority groups. At the moment our focus is on people aged under 65 with specific health conditions which put them at higher risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID as well as those people who we know are Carers who are eligible to be vaccinated. We are inviting people as quickly as we can, based on the vaccine supplies available to us. If you fall into one of these categories, we will be contacting you over the next fortnight once we have been allocated our vaccine stocks.
There are some weeks when we are not receiving as much supply of the vaccine as we would like, due to national supply constraints. We know this has led to some longer waits than we would like to see for our patients. If you or someone you care for is eligible for a vaccination and is very concerned about waiting to be called, you can try to book online at www.nhs.uk/book-coronavirus-vaccination or dial 119 to see if an alternative vaccination centre has any appointments.
There is currently a high demand for appointments through this route which may mean that you have to travel further to get an appointment until national vaccine supplies increase. There are vaccination centres at the following locations in east and north Hertfordshire:
- Robertson House, Stevenage
- Chells Manor Community Centre, Stevenage
- Da Vinci former grammar school, Letchworth
- Avanti Meadows Primary School, Bishop’s Stortford
- The Priory, Ware
- Roche Pharmaceuticals, Welwyn Garden City
If these options do not appear for you, this means that all their appointments are currently booked up. More appointment slots do get added so check back regularly. There are also vaccination sites in west Hertfordshire, Essex and Bedfordshire that may be closer to where you live.
Letters are now being sent from NHS England to people aged over 55, inviting them to arrange an appointment online using the national booking website. If you are aged over 55 and receive one of the national letters but don’t want to book online and would prefer to receive your vaccination with us at our GP hub at Courtenay House Surgery, Hitchin, you will need to be patient and wait for us to call you. Like all local vaccination services provided by GPs, our hub is not on the national booking site; it is managed by practice staff who will either call you or send you a text message. As soon as we have vaccinated everyone in the earlier priority groups and we have enough vaccine to move on to the next group, we will be in contact with over 55s.
We are expecting our vaccine supplies to GP hubs to increase considerably from the middle of March so we hope to be able to call in many more people after that – for their first and second doses, in line with national guidance about priority groups and the recommended interval between doses. Please be assured that nobody who is due a second dose will have to wait longer than 12 weeks for it.