Covid Vaccines

Covid Vaccinations Q&A

Both the Pfizer-bioNtech and Oxford/ AstraZeneca vaccines have been approved for use by the MHRA and are being given as fast as stocks arrive

How is the vaccination process going?

We were the first site to start vaccinating in Kingston and have currently vaccinated:

  • Care home residents
  • Adults over 80
  • Health and Social Care workers
  • Adults over 75
  • Adults over 70
  • Adults over 65+
  • Clinically Extremely Vulnerable patients

We are now in the process of vaccinating our Cohort 6 patients – those considered to be clinically vulnerable.

The systems we have set up allow us to vaccinate quickly and efficiently so that we can deliver the vaccinations as soon as we receive them. At our vaccination site at Kingston University (see below) we are able to vaccinate 2000 patients in a single day.

We are currently at the mercy of NHSE to provide us with vaccinations and often find this out at the last minute. NHSE are keen that all areas progress at the same pace – i.e. that the country as a whole moves down the JCVI cohorts together and so we are currently finding that our supplies are limited while other areas are prioritised to allow them to vaccinate all of their Cohorts 1-4.

Where will the vaccine be given?

The Pfizer-bioNtech has extremely strict cold chain requirements which make it unsuitable to be used at an individual general practice basis. We have established a local hub where our patients will be vaccinated. This will form an important part of the local vaccination effort alongside both hospital hubs and mass vaccination centres. This local hub is based at Kingston University.

The AstraZeneca vaccine is easier to transport and use, we may be able to run some clinics at Kingston Health Centre but may also run others at Kingston University so we don’t disrupt the practice too much should we be doing large numbers of patients. The venue will be made clear to you at the time of appointment booking.

When booked for an appointment please make sure are clear where to go:

Kingston Health Centre or Kingston University (Penrhyn Road)

Who will be eligible for the vaccine?

The joint committee on vaccination and immunisation (JCVI) has determined the priorities for vaccination.  The order of priority for each group in the population corresponds with data on the number of individuals who would need to be vaccinated to prevent one death, estimated from UK data obtained from March to June 2020.

  1. Older adults in a care home and care home workers (remains unclear if this vaccine can be used in care homes)
  2. All adults aged 80 and over and health and social care workers
  3. Anyone aged 75 and over
  4. People aged 70 and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals
  5. People aged 65 and over
  6. All those aged 16 to 64 with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease
  7. People aged 55 and over
  8. People aged 50 and over
  9. Remainder of population with priority list yet to be decided.

We are not able to alter or amend these priority lists but will be working through them as quickly as vaccine supply and delivery allows.  The systems we have set up allow us to vaccinate over 2000 patients per day so the limitation is based only on supply.

What vaccine is the best?

The best vaccination is the one that you get the earliest. I am recommending to my patients, friends and family that they take up any vaccination as soon as they are eligible and it is offered.

How many doses are there?

Both vaccines currently used require two doses to be given.  The JCVI changed the priority in January and is focussing on giving as many patients as possible the first dose with the follow up planned 12 weeks or so later.

As no deliveries are scheduled in advance we cannot currently book the second dose in but will contact you to do so as soon as we can, NHSE allow, and we have vaccine availability.

Why will there be no flexibility with dates?

We receive very little notice of vaccine deliveries currently and need to use them very soon after arrival. The logistically challenges of contacting and booking in thousands of patients in a few days is immense and we won’t have a range of days or times available.

What can I do to help?

Please make sure we have your correct contact details (you can email KHCadmin@nhs.net). We are unlikely to get much notice of vaccine delivery dates and our reception and admin team have a huge task to contact all eligible patients and so we will need phone numbers, ideally mobile.

Please do not contact us to check when you will be vaccinated. As soon as we get confirmation of delivery we contact patients in JCVI list order. We are currently running our normal service as well as a Covid vaccination service and I am afraid we don’t have capacity to answer individual queries of this nature.