Liverpool doctors explain how the Covid vaccine rollout is working in the city
3 years ago
As groups of GP practices in Liverpool continue the roll-out of Covid-19 (coronavirus) vaccinations for priority groups, the local NHS is sharing details of the how the process will work for the city’s residents.
People don’t need to contact their GP practice or another NHS organisation to ask for a vaccination – or to request one for a family member – they will be invited when it is time to be vaccinated, either with a letter or a phone call.
Liverpool’s GP practices are working together to vaccinate patients, so people might not be contacted by their usual practice, and they might need to go to a different location for the vaccination itself – they will be told where to attend when they are invited in.
When people have had their vaccination they will be told when they will need to go back for a second dose. The latest evidence suggests the first dose of the vaccine provides significant levels of protection, so the advice about when the second dose is needed has changed to say it needs to be done within 12 weeks – this is also to make sure as many people can have the vaccine as possible. However, anyone who already has an appointment to get a second dose should still attend, unless they are told not to.
Not all areas of Liverpool have started vaccinating yet as this is happening in phases, so people shouldn’t be worried if they – or a family member – are aged over 80 but haven’t heard anything so far. Because the number of people in each age group will vary between areas, in some parts of Liverpool it might take more time to reach everyone than in others. GPs and other practice staff are working to vaccinate as many people as quickly as possible, and during January many more people over 80 will be invited in, but it is only the start of the vaccination programme and it will take time to get to everyone.
Dr Fiona Lemmens, a local GP and Chair of NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said:
“We know that this is a really worrying time, and it’s completely understandable that people want to get their Covid-19 vaccination quickly.
“The NHS is prioritising vaccinating those people who experts have agreed will benefit from it the most. At the moment, in line with national guidance, we are focussing on people aged over 80, and care home patients and staff, but as more vaccine becomes available, it will be offered to other people at risk as soon as possible.
“You might know others over 80 who have been invited for their vaccination already, however not all groups of GP practices could start vaccinating at the same time, so not everyone has been contacted yet, but we will get to you.”
Dr Ayo Adebanjo, a GP at Valley Medical Centre in Childwall, said:
“If you are registered with a GP practice in Liverpool you will be invited for a vaccination as soon as we are ready to offer it to you – you don’t need to contact us before this, as we won’t be able to vaccinate you sooner.
“It’s also really important to remember that even when you’ve had the vaccine you still need to follow the national lockdown rules in the same way you do now – there is a chance you might still get or spread coronavirus, even if you have the vaccine.
“This also means it is important to continue to follow social distancing guidance and if you can, wear something that covers your nose and mouth in places where it’s hard to stay away from other people”
It’s been reported that some people are receiving suspicious calls and text messages offering the Covid-19 vaccination. The public are being reminded that:
· The vaccine is only available on the NHS for free to people in priority groups, and the NHS will contact you when it is your turn.
· Anyone offering a paid-for vaccine is committing a fraud crime.
· The NHS will never ask you to press a button on your keypad or send a text to confirm you want the vaccine, and never ask for payment or for your bank details.
· At the moment we are also not making house calls to deliver or discuss the vaccine.
If people receive a call they believe to be fraudulent, they should hang up. If they believe they have been the victim of fraud or identity theft they should report this directly to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. Where the victim is vulnerable, and particularly if they are worried that someone has or might come to their house, they should report it to the Police online or by calling 101.