Plans are in place for the continued vaccination of priority groups in Bolton, as the second COVID-19 vaccine is rolled out across the country.
Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group, which is delivering the Covid-19 vaccination programme in the borough on behalf of NHS England, will expand its vaccination of the local population this month.
More vaccination sites have been selected across the town, with agreement at a national level. However, exact dates and times will be dependent on the scheduled delivery of the vaccines.
The first delivery of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine has been made in Bolton and will be given to people via the site of the first phase – Tonge Moor Health Centre – early next week.
Some patients have already been vaccinated at this site with the Pfizer/BioNTech dose. The first phase was launched here on December 15, covering people registered at six GP practices across the Turton Primary care Network (PCN).
More over 80s were vaccinated at Lever Chambers Health Centre in December, including those from Rumworth PCN and some from Farnworth and Kearsley PCN.
Both vaccines require two doses. Due to national guidance, people will be offered their second dose of either vaccine approximately 12 weeks after their first.
It is expected that both vaccines will be delivered to all sites as we move forward with the programme. There is no option to choose, and both vaccines will be administered according to available supply from NHS England.
Both vaccines will be used to protect the priority groups of care home residents and their carers, people aged 80 and over, and health and social care workers.
The CCG is working with Bolton Council to plan for all care home residents to have access to the vaccine by the end of January.
Community vaccinations will take place over the next two weeks at the following locations:
• Lever Chambers Health Centre – including people from Central PCN and Farnworth and Kearsley PCN
• Breightmet Health Centre – including people from Breightmet and Little Lever PCN
• Peter House Surgery – including people from Westhoughton PCN
• Waters Meeting Health Centre – including people from Halliwell PCN, plus those registered at Bolton Community Practice in Horwich
• Avondale Health Centre – including people from Chorley Roads PCN
We are working with NHS England to confirm the contract and site in Horwich, which we expect will be as soon as next week. We’d like to reassure Horwich residents that we are doing everything we can to make these arrangements and will inform them of the date for vaccinations as soon as we have confirmation.
Each site has had to undergo rigorous checks by NHS England to ensure it is suitable, which is why the programme is being delivered in phases.
Senior Responsible Officer for the Covid-19 Vaccination Programme in Bolton, and Clinical Director of Commissioning at Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group, Dr Helen Wall, said: “This is the largest scale vaccination programme we have seen in this country and we are proud to be at the centre of operations. We are delighted to be expanding access to the vaccination in Bolton and we would encourage everyone who is invited for the vaccine to take up the opportunity to increase their protection and reduce the potential of falling seriously ill from Covid.
“Understandably, people are eager to get the vaccine and we would like to reassure everyone in the priority groups that they will be contacted for their appointment. No one has been forgotten but please bear with us as we work through this complex and major programme.
“We are working around the clock to deliver the vaccination in a safe and efficient way while negotiating last minute changes and issues. We will be in touch with you!”
All plans for vaccination are reliant on the national delivery of the vaccine and in the case of care homes, some plans may change due to unforeseen circumstances such as an infection outbreak.
Appointments will not be made until delivery of the vaccine has been confirmed and people are strongly advised to continue following Government advice on social distancing and restrictions, even after receiving their vaccine.
GP practices are working hard to ensure everyone in the priority groups are contacted when it is the right time. They are also experiencing a high demand for other health issues. Please consider alternative measures unless you need urgent medical attention. Your local pharmacy can help with minor ailments and NHS 111 should be used if you require urgent medical attention.