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Covid Vaccination Booster Programme

The following is from Dr René Skule, Clinical Director for The Wimborne and Ferndown Primary Care Network, PCN, regarding the Covid Vaccination booster programme.

Dr René Skule
Dr René Skule

Dear Patients

You will be aware of the Governments announcements regarding the new Omicron variant and the recommendation for all adults aged >18 to have a Covid-19 ‘booster’ dose.

The booster refers to a 3rd dose, to be given 3 months after the second dose was administered.

We have been delivering the vaccination programme out of St Leonards throughout 2021. It was a programme in collaboration with practices in Cranbourne and  West Moors.

As of December the 18th The Wimborne and Ferndown Primary Care Network (PCN) which comprises the three practices in Wimborne and the two in Ferndown will assume sole responsibility for the site.

In response to the Government programme we are gearing up the vaccination service to deliver our original 3 month programme over 4-5 weeks.

In total we have 18,000 vaccines to deliver and we plan to have done 50% by the 10th of January with the remainder soon after and all cleared by the end of January.

The reason for giving you these details is that I am very mindful how difficult it has been (and still is) to get vaccination slots in Dorset.

The demand has hugely outstripped the supply for several months leading to frustration and some appointments offered outside of Dorset!

Furthermore what adds to the confusion is the Government sends out texts to you informing you of your availability but then appointments cannot be found or you are offered appointments 1 month ahead. This process makes our lives more complicated for we end up inviting people already contacted or even booked.

You will be offered either the Pfizer or Moderna Vaccine – we cannot offer you the choice.  Both vaccines have good data and there is good evidence that mixing vaccines can add benefit.

Thus I would like to reassure you that we are planning a surge in vaccinations late December and early January. We will be contacting you in reverse age order by text (as before) with the option to book slots at St Leonards over the weekdays and weekends. Those people without mobiles will be contacted by phone and offered appointments.

You do have the option to choose local pharmacies or walk in centres via 119 / NHS website but I expect capacity through these will still be restricted.

May we ask you to not call the practice to enquire about the vaccines as we will be in touch with you as soon as possible.

Please be reassured we are working hard to deliver the boosters as soon as possible, at scale and as quickly as possible.

In the meantime we encourage you to stay safe over the Christmas period and we shall be seeing you shortly!

9 December 2021