The Weardale Practice are currently preparing to provide the first phase of COVID vaccinations. Vaccination against COVID is an essential tool to help control the current pandemic and reduce associated deaths and suffering.
We are working with our Primary Care Network colleagues at North House Surgery, Crook and Willington Medical Group to provide this urgent national vaccine program to patients of the Wear Valley.
We expect to receive the vaccine in the week commencing 4th January. Vaccination clinics are scheduled for 6th and 7th January. (Please be aware this may change at short notice should delivery be delayed or rescheduled). The vaccination program will start with patients over 80 years of age. PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT THE PRACTICE IF YOU ARE NOT IN THE OVER 80 AGE BRACKET. You will be invited in turn.
The Pfizer vaccine is the first vaccine to be licensed for COVID in the UK. There are some challenges posed by this particular vaccine. The vaccine cannot be moved once delivered, requires two doses three weeks apart and must be used within a very short timescale. As a result, all appointments in the Wear Valley will take place at a single location, North House Surgery in Crook.
Patients can contact the practice to book appointments from Tuesday 22nd December. The easiest way to request an appointment is by e-Consultation via www.theweardalepractice.nhs.uk please include a mobile number which will allow the practice to respond quickly by text. Appointment times will be allocated by the practice.
We understand that transport will be difficult for many elderly patients. We will need community support to bring elderly relatives, neighbours and friends to appointments for the vaccine, both next week, and in 3 weeks’ time for the second dose.
We ask for your assistance and patience as we deliver the vaccine. Large amounts of staff time will be taken up delivering the vaccine program both now and in the new year. This will have an unavoidable impact on waiting times for GP and nurse appointments and other services at the practice. We will continue to assess and deal with urgent medical problems as quickly as we can, but the wait for routine appointments is likely to be longer than usual. Patients with minor medical problems may be directed to other services, such as NHS 111 and local pharmacies.
Dr Amy Rowan