We are sure you can appreciate that at this time, we are being inundated with individual requests for people to know when their vaccine will be or to know whether they can be placed higher on the priority list for receiving their vaccine for personal reasons. The government and the media have been asking people to not contact GP surgeries as the GP surgeries will be contacting patients when it is their time.
The order in which people are being called for their vaccine is very clearly set from the government and NHS England and all GP surgeries across the country are being directed to follow this mandate, us included. This list has been compiled based on evidence that takes into account risk of mortality and the subsequent impact of disease on health and social services. You can find the order of calling people for their vaccine via the following webpage: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/priority-groups-for-coronavirus-covid-19-vaccination-advice-from-the-jcvi-30-december-2020/joint-committee-on-vaccination-and-immunisation-advice-on-priority-groups-for-covid-19-vaccination-30-december-2020
As you can see, this is based on age and the extremely clinically vulnerable patients. This latter group of patients have all been directed to “shield” since March 2020 and were sent a letter at this time to direct them to follow the most extreme restrictions from the very start of the pandemic. If you would like more information on the types of people who have been advised to shield, please visit the following webpage:
Beyond this shielding group, many people do have significant risk factors that put them at higher risk of developing complications from COVID-19 e.g. patients with asthma, COPD, obesity, smoking, different ethnicities, etc. However, as has been from the start, the recommendations on social distancing, hygiene practices, lifestyle changes and day-today recommendations on working, socialising and interacting with others have been the mainstay of recommendations for all, including those who do have more risk factors and those in the lowest risk groups.
Although we appreciate that you feel your personal risk is higher and feel that a vaccine should be considered for your personal circumstances to be administered in a higher priority group, we are unable to accommodate this as we are under strict instructions to follow the guidelines and be fair to all. We are sure you can appreciate that at this time, it has been a tough logistical challenge to establish the current vaccine roll-out with very little notice in advance and with an already overstretched NHS service. Therefore, to add to this confusion would cause vaccines to be wasted, vulnerable people would miss out and it just won’t be fair to the people who are waiting their turn.
We appreciate that there is talk in the media about different groups of people being considered for higher priority than what is being currently directed. We will react to any
changes in the guidelines if and when they happen.
We also appreciate that some people feel that their vaccine should be administered because of work-related risks. If you feel this is something that is relevant to you, you should speak to your employer as they have a duty of care towards you. Some employers also seek the help of Occupational Health teams for their more expert opinion that can give advice and guidance to employers in the best ways to help support their employees.
We do hope that the above explains the current plans with the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine and we will be in touch with you when we reach your group in the process.
Many thanks for your patience and understanding in these very difficult times.
Newport Health Centre