Thanet will be getting a large scale vaccination centre, county councillors were told today (January 22) at a members’ briefing.
Wilf Williams, Accountable Officer for NHS Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and the strategic lead for the NHS response to Coronavirus in Kent and Medway, told the briefing the site would be set up at a shopping centre – assumed to be Westwood Cross – although no date was given.
Kent’s large scale sites are predicted to be able to give 20,000 vaccines per week.
Mobile and outreach services for vaccinations will also be used.
Councillors were also told there was to be a large effort in vaccinating the over 80s living in Sandwich with assistance from GPs in Margate/Mocketts Wood hub.
Vaccination surgeries being carried out at St Peter’s Church Hall were highlighted for the good progress being made.
Some 2,200 people will receive vaccinations at the site tomorrow with the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.
Dr Ash Peshen, from Northdown surgery, told The Isle of Thanet News earlier this week: “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.”
Mr Williams told county councillors at the briefing that the AstraZeneca vaccine is easier and so will enable better local access to vaccinations going forward.
County Councillor Karen Constantine praised all the staff involved in vaccination programmes across Thanet’s three GP hubs at Mocketts/Margate, Minster/Birchington and Ramsgate, saying: “Everyone has been working flat out and I congratulate hard working NHS staff and volunteers. They are on their feet for long hours and it is physically demanding.
“When people get their vaccination appointment I hope they will be positive and go and get it done.”
A large-scale vaccination centre is also set to open in Folkestone next week.
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.
GP vaccination hubs
|Minster Surgery||Westgate Surgery, Minster Surgery, St Peter’s Surgery, Birchington Medical Practice, Broadstairs Medical Practice, Ash Surgery|
|Mocketts Wood||The Limes Medical Centre, Northdown Surgery, Bethesda Medical Centre, Mocketts Wood Surgery|
|Montefiore Centre||The Grange Medical Practice, Summerhill Surgery, Dashwood Medical Centre, East Cliff Practice, Newington Road Surgery|