Community pharmacies now part of Herts COVID vaccination rollout
- Credit: Archant
Hertfordshire residents who are currently eligible to have a COVID-19 vaccination can now access a local vaccination centre, thanks to newly-opened sites in Harpenden, Letchworth and Cheshunt.
There are now 23 groups of GP practices working together to offer widespread coverage across the county. Additionally, three community pharmacies also began vaccinating those people in priority groups this week.
The pharmacies, one of which is in St Albans, are the latest options in our area to be added to the national booking system, joining large vaccine centres such as Robertson House in Stevenage.
According to the latest figures, 115,304 people have been vaccinated across Hertfordshire and west Essex.
People aged over 70 and those under 70 at extreme clinical risk can now be vaccinated under the NHS programme. Completing vaccinations for the over 80s, older people living in care homes and their care staff will continue to take priority.
Dr Nicolas Small, GP board chair of Herts Valleys CCG, said: “This is the biggest vaccination programme the NHS has ever undertaken, and NHS staff have done an incredible job in vaccinating many thousands of vulnerable patients in these local vaccination sites across our area in a number of weeks. Our local GP-run services are also vaccinating care homes residents and staff and we are making good progress.”
Dr Prag Moodley, GP and chair of East and North Hertfordshire CCG said: “We expect the pace of vaccination to increase significantly over the coming days and weeks and for more appointments to be offered to patients as vaccine supplies increase and more vaccination sites open. "
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People attending a vaccination appointment can support staff by following social distancing rules, wearing a face covering -unless exempt - and arriving for their vaccination at their allotted time.
Pam Clifford, 93, was one of the first people to be vaccinated at the Harpenden site: “I was really impressed. I feel very positive about this and I know that my family are thrilled I have had the first dose.”
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Patients who haven’t yet heard about their jab are being asked to assist the vaccination programme by waiting to be contacted to book an appointment, attending said appointments, and continuing to follow all government guidance both before and after having the vaccine.