As residents will know, the Coronavirus vaccination programme is accelerating. The UK approved a third vaccine last week, and we have now vaccinated over two million people.
I appreciate that residents are eager to know when they, or their relatives, will be receiving a vaccine. The government has been following the advice of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), that the first phase of the vaccination programme should focus on direct prevention of mortality, and supporting the NHS and social care systems.
To that end, vaccines are being offered according to the JCVI’s priority list. By 15 February, the government hopes to have offered a slot for vaccination to all of the 15 million people in the top four priority groups. These groups include residents in care homes for older adults and their carers, everyone over the age of 70, frontline health and social care workers, and clinically extremely vulnerable people. These groups account for 88% of all those who have sadly lost their lives with Coronavirus.
In Elmbridge, the Emberbrook Surgery in Thames Ditton is serving as a local vaccination centre. Vaccines are being given at several other locations in Surrey, including at the nearby Epsom Downs Racecourse, which is one of the seven mass vaccination hubs in England. Of course, vaccines are also being given in local care homes.
This vaccination programme offers a route out of the restrictions that we have been living with. As the programme ramps up, it is important not to contact the NHS or your GP to ask when you can receive a vaccine. Our local NHS is working very hard, and this slows down the process. Instead, you will be contacted when it is your turn to receive a vaccine. There’s more information about the vaccine available on the NHS website, here.