Large vaccination programme underway at St Peter’s Church Hall

Dr Ash Peshen (right) with GP colleagues Mocketts/Margate team: Dr Subbiah, Dr Sohail, Dr Reddy

A large vaccination programme is underway in St Peter’s today (January 19) as GPs from the Mocketts Wood and Margate hub of surgeries make sure vulnerable patients get their jab.

The programme is for patients of Mocketts Wood, The Limes, Northdown and Bethesda surgeries and staff from all four sites are involved in today’s effort taking place at St Peter’s Church Hall.

Heading up the vaccinations are Dr Ganapathi Subbiah, from the Limes, Dr Mo Sohail, from Bethesda, Dr Ash Peshen from Northdown and Dr Venkat Reddy from Mocketts Wood. They are joined by practice managers, nurses, pharmacists and admin staff from across the four surgeries as well as volunteers for marshalling and other tasks.

The team are vaccinating 1,200 people aged 80 and over today with the Pfizer /BioNTech vaccine and expect to vaccinate a further 2,200 people aged 70 and over on Saturday with the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

Dr Peshen said: “With Pfizer vaccinations we are getting patients to sit down for 15 minutes after their jab. This is because (nationally) there were some reactions to Pfizer’s vaccine so the government requested the 15 minutes although we have not had any problems and most GPs here have had the Pfizer jab and been happy with it.

“We do not need to do this with AstraZeneca and so we will be able to do 2,200 on Saturday.”

The vaccination team

Public Health England advice is that individuals are observed for a minimum of 15 minutes following administration of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine. There is no requirement for 15 minutes observation following the AstraZeneca vaccine.

However, as fainting can occur following vaccination, all those vaccinated with either COVID-19 vaccine should either be driven by someone else or should not drive for 15 minutes after vaccination.

The AstraZeneca vaccine is arriving on Thursday and Friday this week ready for ‘super surgery’ on Saturday.

The hub for the four GPs has vaccinated all residents and staff in all 19 of the care homes on its patch and was among the first seven sites in the country to do so.

The four sites have 55,000 patients of all ages combined and 10% of these, 5,500, will have had their jab by the end of the Saturday vaccinations.

Each patient has their details checked electronically via a national grid of information – taking about three minutes – before receiving the jab.

Preparing the vaccines

Staff in one room in the St Peters Church Hall busily prepare the vaccines which are then taken through to the main hall where they are then given to those waiting.

Dr Peshen said: “We were the first site here to go live in the first wave on December 14 and one of the first to get care homes done. We got off the ground very quickly.”

The team say they are vaccinating around 100 patients an hour for those receiving the Pfizer dose – and anticipate that process speeding up to 180 per hour with the AstraZeneca doses.

Broadstairs councillor Aram Rawf was one of the volunteers helping to marshall

Dr Sabbiah said: “All the surgeries have come together and are working together. It is a time for the whole community to get together and get this done.”

Dr Peshen added: “It is such a coming together of the community. There has been so much positivity and people see there is light at the end of the tunnel. I have never received so many virtual hugs before!

“People are so grateful to get the vaccination. We have staff working their weekends and there are so many people helping, even young people, everyone has given so much time.”


Vaccination (Image iStock/MarsBars)

This month the vaccine developed by Moderna became the third to be approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

The Pfizer vaccine has to be stored at minus 70 degrees Celsius. Moderna has said that its vaccine needs to be frozen too, at minus 20 Celsius.

The AstraZeneca vaccine can be stored and transported at normal refrigerated temperature.

There will be a delay in delivery of the Pfizer vaccine while the firm upgrades manufacturing facilities.

This will temporarily impact shipments in late January to early February but there will be a significant increase in doses available for patients in late February and March.


A total of 1000 Covid vaccines were administered at Minster GP surgery on January 16 to patients aged over 80 from across Westgate Surgery, Minster Surgery, St Peter’s Surgery, Birchington Medical Practice, Broadstairs Medical Practice and Ash Surgery.

A message from Birchington Medical Practice says the GP hub is currently working through care home residents, those 80 years and over and healthcare workers.

As of this Thursday arrangements were being made at Minster to start making appointments for the next groups on the list, including those aged 75 and over.

There will be another vaccine clinic on Friday (January 22) at the surgery. This will be between 12pm -6pm and be for Minster surgery patients only .


The vaccination programme in Ramsgate is being run at Montefiore Medical Centre collaboratively with East Cliff, The Grange, Dashwood, Newington and Summerhill.

The Centre says the service will be impacted by the availability of vaccines and the collective ability to staff the clinics but “rest assured we are all committed to deliver this programme as quickly and safely as possible to allow all of lives to return to a new sense of normal.”

There is currently a significant staff shortage at The Grange – one of the practices within Montefiore surgery. It is understood a number of staff are self-isolating.


North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale says he has raised concerned over a shortage of vaccine supply.

He said: “I am gravely concerned by the shortage of the supply of Covid 19 Vaccine to local Primary Care Networks in Kent. It seems to me that to open large new centres that have to be supplied with vaccines and to promise to offer accelerated vaccinations to those over 70 while at the same time NHS staff and hundreds of 80 and 90 year olds remain untreated is sheer folly..

“We have a good programme that is starting to deliver impressive results but once again we are in danger over- promising and under- achieving – completely unnecessarily. We need to stick to our schedule and our priorities, make sure that existing outlets are adequately supplied and not try to get ahead of the game in some areas at the expense of others.

“I have been in personal contact with the Secretary of State for Health this morning and he has assured me that the matter is receiving immediate attention.”

Thanet data

Positive covid rates per 100,000 people have again been falling in Thanet, from 807.5 on January 9 to 485 yesterday (rolling 7 day rates have a 6 day time lag meaning yesterday’s figure was for week ending January 13).

The government data dashboard information yesterday showed 71 new positive tests recorded, making 793 in the last seven days – a drop of 20% on the preceding seven days. A total of 9,650 positive tests have been recorded for Thanet,

Eleven deaths within 28 days of a positive test were recorded making 45 in the last seven days and a total recorded for Thanet of 321 as of January 17.

Data for East Kent Hospitals shows 397 patients in Margate, Ashford and Canterbury hospitals with covid as of January 12 with 29 people on mechanical ventilation.


    • I took my husband to St Peters Church hall yesterday. I would like to say it was very well organised, everyone was so helpful, the police helped with parking and getting people across the road and everyone was so friendly.

  1. Both Mocketts Wood and Minster are giving figures for the number of covid vaccinations they have given but not once has the Montefiore centre given any figures! Why is this? Their comments have only been that services are affected by the amount of vaccine available and lack of staff. How then are the other two hubs in Thanet able to obtain enough Vaccine to help several thousands of patients.

  2. Many elderly people have not been contacted by Mocketts Wood – this is very difficult for them since their peers in the area have had 1 if not 2.
    They would like to know why they are excluded.

  3. When the over-70s and the extremely vulnerable are done, will they go straight on to the over-65s? Or will they take a break?

  4. I am with the limes I have had no letter yet I am 76 years old. Are they aware that royal mail are not delivering in the CT9 areas because of staff having covid at the Margate sorting office and Herne bay.

    • I’m far too young to have it yet, but my surgery (Westgate) tends to text people for appointments instead. Not sure if that’s the case elsewhere?

      My 77 year old mother lives in Herne Bay, and got a phone call from her surgery yesterday. She has her vaccination on Saturday.

    • My mother is 83 and registered at the lines and has not been contacted to get her jab. I have tried to sort it out by phoning the surgery and by going online and both say wait until contacted. This is more than a bit concerning when there are 5 million over 70s supposedly being sent invitations this week.

      • It all seems a bit random. My mother didn’t get her flu vaccination until December (I got mine in September), yet she seems to be front of the queue for the Covid jab.

    • It is likely you may be called by telephone.Even though you may be expecting a letter. Keep your phone close by.

  5. The problem with this system is, if you fall through the net (because you were only fully diagnosed later last year), its virtually impossible to get anyone to listen to you and ammend the list. Its bad enough to be diagnosed as seriously ill, with an incurable disease at this time! I have yet to have a single face-to-face appointment with anyone who I can discuss my concerns with. Despite having it in writing that I should be shielding, nobody at my surgery seems to be either willing or able to change my status on the computer system. Meaning that as things stand, I will not be offered the immunisation when other shielders are offered theirs. Stuff is bad enough, I just wish I could get this administration sorted.

  6. We are 75 and 79 and with Westgate Surgery. We are looking forward to being called but happy to wait for our turn as we will only continue to isolate due to my husband’s chronic bronchiectasis. However, he has never had a letter to tell him he is extremely vulnerable and we’ve always been extremely careful. Rather be safe than sorry.

  7. Just one more comment. I feel all frontline health workers including pharmacists, care home workers, ambulance crews, police officers, prison officers, public transport workers also anyone working with the public in the food supply industry that is required to remain working for everyone’s benefit should all have been the first to receive the vaccines. Hope I’ve not missed anyone out.

      • What I was meaning was that all keyworkers should be vaccinated first as they are putting their health and lives on the line for the rest of us. Followed then by the vulnerable and elderly who have been isolating, like us, since March last year.

        • If you do that, then many, many elderly and vulnerable people will unnecessarily die.
          As things stand, if a younger, fitter person contracts C19, they most likely will be under the weather for a week or two. If an elderly or vulnerable person contracts the disease, they are most likely to die.
          That’s why the committee of very thoughtful people came up with the scheme they did: it will maximise lives saved. Any other priority scheme would inevitably see many, many vulnerable and elderly dead before their time.

          • No, not if they continue isolating they won’t. Just for one instance, as it presently stands they are now drafting in the army to drive the ambulance carts in many areas. I certainly wouldn’t be wanting my son/daughter to take on this role without having had the vaccine. Similarly, with those in the police force and other keyworker areas. More folks in their 50’s presently in hospital seriously ill and dying; these numbers are now greater than those for the vunerable and elderly.

  8. I really think the Montefiore needs help, we can all sense this as progress has been so slow from the start. They have huge patient numbers and are the main site for Ramsgate. I think they need help and support ASAP.

    Ramsgate cannot be months behind the rest of the country and area.

    Patient lists need moving for this jab perhaps or the target will sail past.

    What can be done to accelerate?

  9. I am 83 had phone call from The Limes surgery last week and had my vaccination today at St Peter’s Church hall. A wonderful service like a military operation well organised and stress free.
    Thank you to all the people involved.

    • i had my jab at St Peters Church Hall
      last evening the whole staff was super
      and thank them all for a great job

  10. I’m puzzled as to why St Peters, Oakland Ave, St Peters, are not part of the join initiative in St Peters Hall . . . surely it makes sense for all the village surgeries to participate?

    • St Peter’s reception staff have just advised me that they are only sending for over 80’s and will be weeks dealing with this age group so do not expect to offer vaccinations to over 70’s and the extremely clinically vulnerable for several weeks.

  11. My wife and I are Mocketts Wood patients and 78 years of age and I am on the Governments shielding list and we still wait to hear about our vaccination.

  12. I am a 77-year-old Lancashire man got caught dowm here last march and have been self isolating since (also got heart probs( icd implant) WAS on Mokkets Wood temporary register but have been taken of, what do I do ??

  13. I am concerned that many people think once they have had the jab they are safe. My daughter has had it but was given no guidance. This is crazy.

  14. Every surgery / vaccination centre throughout the country clearly has a different number of people in different age groups and will be working at different speeds. It may well be that one area of the country can start vaccinating 70+ before another area has completed the 80+ group. Remember that also within the 80+ group are the front line workers so maybe one area has a lower number of 80+ but a very high number of front line workers so it may take longer to get the 70+ group.

    Below is the list of priority groups as prepared by the government. So if you are under 80, be it in your 70s or are extremely vulnerable, you will be in the next group to receive the vaccinations. Unfortunately, things are not “perfect” but are you perfect? Please try and be patient – everyone working on the vaccinations are doing their best under extremely difficult circumstances. Nobody in the world was prepared for this pandemic and daily adjustments and changes have to be made according to circumstances, latest developments etc etc etc. And all GP surgeries are also still having to deal with everyone who has other health problems and they all only have a finite number of staff and a limited number of hours in their working days. Try and be more understanding.

    For those of you like Christina Howes and David Norcross – if you are having problems getting through to your surgery on the phone or cannot speak to someone who can assist you, I would suggest that you write a letter to the Practice Manager and drop it in (or have someone drop it in for you if you are unable to get there) detailing your problem. Remember all surgeries are having countless extra phone calls every day from people with queries on the vaccinations and are overwhelmed. I have just looked on the Bethesda website and the Practice Manager there is Rachel Cousins. For Mocketts Wood – Shelley Berry.

    1 Residents in a care home for older adults and staff working in care homes for older adults
    2 All those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers
    3 All those 75 years of age and over
    4 All those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals (not including pregnant women and those under 16 years of age)
    5 All those 65 years of age and over
    6 Adults aged 16 to 65 years in an at-risk group (see below) (Those in receipt of Carers Allowance are also now in this group, regardless of age).
    7 All those 60 years of age and over
    8 All those 55 years of age and over
    9 All those 50 years of age and over
    10 Rest of the population (to be determined)

    Clinical conditions list:

    a blood cancer (such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma)
    a heart problem
    a chest complaint or breathing difficulties, including bronchitis, emphysema or severe asthma
    a kidney disease
    a liver disease
    lowered immunity due to disease or treatment (such as HIV infection, steroid medication, chemotherapy or radiotherapy)
    rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or psoriasis
    have had an organ transplant
    had a stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (TIA)
    a neurological or muscle wasting condition
    a severe or profound learning disability
    a problem with your spleen, example sickle cell disease, or you have had your spleen removed
    are seriously overweight (BMI of 40 and above)
    are severely mentally ill


        As with all situations and circumstances at this fraught time, it is a case of using common sense. My son is diabetic and because I am clinically extremely vulnerable and elderly, he has been shielding with me, since the first lock-down, in the hope that, by doing that, he won’t pick up the virus and pass it on to me.
        Doctors and nurses and other staff involved in the vaccination process are only human, though some folk seem to think they have superhuman powers and can get us all vaccinated in a trice. Just keep shielding until we are out of this nightmare, no matter what category you are in, and spare a thought for the stoicism and commitment of those administering the vaccine as fast and as safely as they can. They are doing a wonderful job.

  15. My wife and I are both in our 70s I received a phone call from the limes last Thursday and we had our first injection on Saturday, fantastic, but when we arrived at St Peter’s hall we were amazed at the wonderful organisation from parking through to the actual injection. Many thanks to all involved

  16. How can I book by elderly mother in law a vaccine at st Peter’s hall br, she has limited mobility, and clsese0one which has come up is Rochester. She lives in Ra5

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