After months of preparation and international rigorous testing, the first Coronavirus vaccine will land in Doncaster this week.
The vaccine will be offered to individuals over the age of 80 initially who are most at risk with underlying health conditions.
In line with the national steer, Primary Care Networks (PCN) in Doncaster are responsible for designated sites where the vaccine will be offered – these are clusters of local practices grouped together.
This week two PCNs will begin vaccinating, 4Doncaster PCN and Doncaster Central PCN with three other PCNs are expected to go live in the coming weeks.
Each of the two PCNs will invite individuals over the age of 80 to come forward for the vaccine. It is important to note that due to the logistics with the vaccine, it can only be offered from the designated vaccination sites at this time. If invited individuals over the age of 80 cannot attend in person, for any reason, there will be more opportunities to receive the vaccination in the coming weeks and months.
The sites will not offer a drop-in service; to receive the vaccine, patients must have received an invite from their local practice and booked an appointment. Patients will need to attend the site detailed on their booking confirmation, at the allocated time. It is vital that patients turn up for both their appointments – for the first and second dose.
It is important to note that if you feel unwell before having your vaccine and have Coronavirus symptoms, you must stay at home and follow the latest guidance. If you have booked an appointment and can no longer attend, you need to let your local practice know so the appointment can be offered to someone else.
Dr David Crichton, local GP and Clinical Chair, NHS Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “I am thrilled that two PCNs in Doncaster have the green light to start delivering the COVID-19 vaccine at designated sites in Doncaster.
“Whilst the vaccine will only initially be available to a small number of individuals, it’s a big and important step on our journey to tackle the virus.”
Dr Nick Tupper, local GP and Clinical Director, 4Doncaster Primary Care Network, said: “Local practices and their teams across the 4Doncaster Primary Care Network have been working their socks off over the last few weeks in preparation for the vaccine arriving at the designated 4Doncaster site.
“Although we can only vaccinate a small number of people at this time, it’s the start of the biggest vaccination programme the NHS has ever led.
“The vaccine will be delivered in phases initially, in line with the rest of the country. I would like to take this opportunity to remind people to be patient; as soon as we are able to invite you to have the vaccine, we will contact you at that point.”
Dr Kate Mansfield, local GP and Clinical Director, Doncaster Central Primary Care Network, said: “The start of the COVID-19 vaccine roll out is a fantastic moment for Doncaster and its right that we ensure some of our most vulnerable people are vaccinated first.
“One thing I would like to say is don’t be alarmed if you are over 80 and don’t get an invite to have your vaccine at this time; you haven’t been forgotten.
“In line with the national direction of travel, we have used our medical records and clinical systems to invite those over 80 that have underlying health conditions that put them more at risk.
“All Primary Care Networks will start to vaccinate their patients in the near future; in the meantime, please bear with us and await to be called forward.”
The phased vaccination programme will also see patients vaccinated aged 80 and above who are already attending Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust as an outpatient, and those who are being discharged home after a hospital stay, among the first to receive the life-saving vaccine.
Any appointments not used for patients over the age of 80 will be used for healthcare workers who are at highest risk of serious illness from COVID-19.