Our final Covid vaccine programme update (probably)
It is with a heavy heart that we at Barlow Medical Centre, along with all the other local practices involved in delivering the COVID-19 vaccination programme at Chancellors Hotel, have decided not to continue with the vaccination programme into phase 2 (under 50s). It has been a wonderful experience for all concerned, but the end of phase 1 (late June) feels like the right time for us to let other services continue with this work whilst we concentrate on looking after the health of our patient population.
There was a communication sent out regarding this a week or two ago, and there is understandably lots of confusion and worry around so we have put together a few FAQs below to hopefully clear up any ongoing concerns. For example, everyone who has had their first dose will still be receiving their second, there is no need to worry.
Thank you all for bearing with us during this unprecedented time, and for all your well wishes and positivity which helped us get this vaccination programme off the ground in the most difficult of circumstances….
Why are we withdrawing from the vaccine programme?
When we were asked to help deliver the COVID-19 vaccination programme, back in November 2020, it was to vaccinate people in cohorts 1 – 9 only (phase 1). This is all people aged 50 years old and older and those who fit into the other eligible groups. We are finding it more and more difficult to run and staff the vaccination clinics whilst work at the surgery gets busier and busier, so all the practices in our grouping feel that the end of phase 1 of the vaccination programme is the right time to stop.
When are we stopping our involvement in the vaccination programme?
Our final day of vaccinations will Wednesday 30th June 2021 (vaccine supply permitting). After this day we will not be able to offer any COVID-19 vaccinations, and all bookings will then need to go through the National Booking Service (online at http://www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or by calling 119). Our vaccination service will continue at Chancellors Hotel in Fallowfield until 16th May, and will then relocate to Owens Park (also in Fallowfield) until we finish on the 30th June.
Why is the vaccination centre moving?
Our lease with the University of Manchester to run the vaccination centre from Chancellors Hotel in Fallowfield expires on 16th May. We have done everything we can to extend it but this just hasn’t been possible. The university have been very helpful in assisting us to continue and finish phase 1 of the vaccination service by making Owens Park Campus (halls of residence in Fallowfield) available for us to use. In order to fulfil our commitment to complete the vaccinations for cohorts 1-9 we will therefore be moving the short distance to Owens Park on 16th May, where we will provide the same high levels of service until we end our involvement on 30th June.
Who will provide vaccinations after we stop?
There are no issues with the further rollout of the vaccine programme. NHS Manchester will provide a number of other services in this area that have sufficient capacity to be able to vaccinate everyone who is eligible when it is their turn. These are yet to be confirmed but will likely include local pharmacies.
I’m now eligible for the vaccine as I’m aged 18-49, can I be vaccinated at the GP practice?
We will not be running vaccination clinics for people aged 18 – 49, when they become eligible. We were set up as a service for people aged 50 and over only. There will be a number of alternative local options for people who are due to be vaccinated next which can be booked through the National Booking Service (online at http://www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or by calling 119) when they become eligible.
So where can I get my vaccine from?
You will be contacted by the NHS directly when it is your turn, and invited to book an appointment via the National Booking Service (online at http://www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or by calling 119) . You will be given the option of attending a local participating pharmacy or vaccination centre. It’s really important that when you get your invitation you take up the offer of having the vaccine, as you will be protecting yourself and friends and family around you.
Will I have to wait longer?
No, you shouldn’t have to wait any longer for your vaccine.
I am in cohorts 1-9 and still haven’t been vaccinated, how can I get my vaccine?
If you are 50 years old or older or are in another eligible group and haven’t had your vaccine yet, it’s important you are vaccinated as soon as possible. Please ring the practice on 0161445900 and we will try to book you in with our own service where availability of the vaccine permits. You can also choose to visit one of the pop-up clinics taking place across the city. Visit the Manchester City Council pop up clinics page for more information. Alternatively you can contact the National Booking Service (online at http://www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or by calling 119).
What about getting my second dose of the vaccine?
If you have already had one dose of the vaccine, you will definitely receive your second dose when it is due. The location of your second dose will depend on the date on which it is due:
Due before 15th May – you will be invited for your second dose at Chancellors Hotel as normal
Due between 16th May and 30th June – you will be invited for your second dose at Owens Park (part of our normal service)
Due after 30th June – you will be invited by the local service that takes over from us (location to be confirmed, but guaranteed by NHS Manchester)
We hope that answers most of your queries. Thanks again for your support.
Barlow Medical Centre