If you are in Priority Group 5 (65-69 yr olds) for the Covid vaccine the best way to be sure of a vaccine in the next few weeks is to book at a mass vaccination centre or pharmacy using the national booking service at www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination. Those who are unable to book online can call 119 free of charge, any time between 7am and 11pm. At present, Kennet and Avon Medical Practice will not be inviting Group 5 members to make a vaccine appointment.
However, the NHS letter received by many local residents today states very clearly that members of Group 5 can choose to be vaccinated by their GP’s services if they would prefer this to a mass vaccination centre or pharmacy.
The letter states, “Please ignore this letter if: You would prefer to be vaccinated through your local GP services. If you do, you just need to wait for your GP services to contact you which if they haven’t already, will be soon. You don’t need to contact your GP.”
Marlborough resident, Peter Turvey, who received one of the letters, said, “There is a communication failure somewhere between NHS England and the Kennet and Avon Medical Partnership which may result in some in Group 5 not being vaccinated.”
GP surgeries have been advised by NHS England to let Group 5 members arrange their own appointments through the national booking system while they concentrate on Group 6 (those aged 16-64 years with underlying health conditions, unpaid carers and young adults in a residential setting) – the reason being that the GPs have the records of who the clinically vulnerable are and they are therefore best placed to manage this group.
The concern is that many Group 5 members will wait to be contacted by Kennet and Avon Medical Practice(KAMP) who are not currently planning to do this. In a statement released yesterday February 15, KAMP said, “KAMP are currently booking appointments for those in Priority Group 6 (those aged 16-64 with underlying health problems). Patients in priority Group 5, the 65-69 yr olds are encouraged to book into the mass vaccination centres and pharmacies. However, anyone aged 65-69 who will find it particularly difficult to travel to mass centres can call the surgery for help.”