Covid Vaccination Update – 02.03.2021

The roll out of the Covid-19 Vaccination Programme by the Forest’s Primary Care Network is moving into the next phase of delivering both first and second vaccinations. Again, the message to all patients is not to contact their Surgery or the Cinderford Vaccination Centre with queries unless specifically instructed to do so.

Surgery staff are still working through contacting patients for the following Groups:

  • Any patients who do not have an appointment booked yet and are in Group 5 (those aged 65 to 69 years)
  •  Any patients who do not have an appointment booked yet and are in Group 6 (those at ‘clinical risk’ aged between 16 and 64 years)

Anyone in Groups 5 and 6 without an appointment will be contacted and offered an appointment for 12 and 15 March. The message is to please wait to be contacted. For these two Groups, the first dose appointment only will be booked.

For those patients (mainly 80 years and over) who received their first dose of vaccine during the first week of the programme (21st – 24th December 2020) they will be contacted by their registered Surgeries this week and offered their second dose for appointments which will be available on 9th, 10th and 11th March 2021 at Cinderford. For all other patients who have received a first dose of vaccine and are waiting for their second dose, they will be contacted in date order by their registered Surgery as we move through the coming weeks. When attending for a second dose, patients are asked to bring their vaccination card with them (credit card size card given at first appointment with details of the date, vaccine and batch number on).

Health workers who received their first vaccination at the Gloucester Hub will need to return there for their second dose. Also, any health workers (with the exception of Primary Care and Care Home staff) who received their first dose at Cinderford will need to arrange their second dose via their employer and attend the Gloucester Hub for this. Primary Care staff (those who are employed directly by GP Surgeries) and Care Home staff will be contacted and booked into the Vaccination Centre at Cinderford. Nursing Home residents and housebound patients will also be contacted by GP Surgeries shortly to arrange second dose visits.

NHS England is sending out letters directly to patients offering them an appointment at one of the large mass Vaccination Centres; it is patient choice if they wish to take up this offer and receive their vaccine at a different location. When following the instructions in the letter to book, patients should remember they will be able to book both first and second doses this way but must attend the same location for both doses. If a patient attends a mass Centre for their first dose, they must attend the same Centre for their second – they will not be given the option to go to Cinderford for their second dose. Surgeries cannot help with booking appointments at the mass Vaccination Centres; this must be done independently by the patient following the instructions in the letter.

The weekly logistics for arranging the Vaccination Programme by Surgeries and the Vaccination Centre at Cinderford are complex and take time; staff are working through the population in Group order and at pace according to the vaccine supply. All information is fully communicated; however, Surgeries are still receiving many calls from patients enquiring when will it will be their turn – please wait to be contacted. The Forest of Dean’s Vaccination Centre was a third wave site which means it opened during the third week of Gloucestershire’s Vaccination Programme so for news watchers, progress locally may, at times, be slightly behind the progress of the other first and second wave sites in Gloucestershire. From 09 March onwards, both first and second dose clinics will be running from Cinderford. It is important to look out for information at www.forestgpsurgeries.co.uk, Facebook page, Forest Radio, Forest Hub and in the Forester newspaper.

More news will follow as the Forest moves onto the next Group but again thanks go out to all the Forest’s patients for their co-operation. Additional thanks to staff working so hard in the Forest of Dean to deliver the Vaccination Programme – it’s making a huge difference and its putting our community on the right foot for returning to a more normal lifestyle.