Next phase of vaccinations for over 65s and clinically vulnerable begin tomorrow

Drawing up the vaccine

NHS staff will begin vaccinating people aged 65 to 69 and those who are clinically vulnerable against Covid from tomorrow (Monday) with over one million people already invited to book a jab.

Almost 1.2 million letters were due to land on doorsteps by yesterday (Saturday) asking people to log on to the national booking service at with another 1.2 million due to arrive this week.

Anyone unable to book online can call 119 free of charge, anytime between 7am and 11pm seven days a week.

In the next phase, which begins tomorrow, GP led vaccination sites will focus initially on the clinically vulnerable from cohort 6 because of the relationship between general practice and those with long term conditions, and continuity of care.

Anyone aged 65 to 69 who would rather wait to be called by their local GP vaccination service does not need to respond to their invitation letter.

The NHS has vaccinated more than 12 million people in the first four priority groups, which included those aged 70 and over, care home residents and staff, the extremely clinically vulnerable and NHS staff.

There are three large scale vaccination centres in Kent and Medway – at Folkestone, Gravesend and Tonbridge. Last month the Kent & Medway Clinical Commissioning Group revealed a large scale site would also open in Thanet. This was earmarked for the end of this month (February).

County councillor Karen Constantine has today (February 14) written to Accountable Officer for NHS Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group Wilf Williams to ask for reassurance over the plans,

She said: “We still have many thousands to vaccinate, and to vaccinate twice. I would like an outline of how capacity will be met and managed.”

Although no other official announcements have been made as yet, The Isle of Thanet News understands the centre will be at the former Saga building in Westwood with doors opening on February 22. The CCG has been asked for confirmation.

Sir Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive, said: “After a strong start the NHS vaccination programme, the biggest and fastest in Europe, is entering a new phase tomorrow.

“Thanks to the hard work of staff the NHS has protected more than 12 million of the most vulnerable people against Covid people in a matter of weeks.

“This is an exciting moment as we now move on to those aged 65 and over and the clinically vulnerable as part of our plan to vaccinate as many people as possible who can benefit from it.

“However, if you have already been offered a jab but have not taken it up it is not too late. Please come forward and help us to help you.”

People who book into a vaccine centre will be greeted by volunteers who will marshal car parks and register them when they arrive.

They will receive a health status check and a pre-vaccination assessment before they have their jab.

Appointments are staggered to allow for social distancing and people who do book are being asked not to turn up early to avoid creating queues.

GPs are contacting those who are housebound to jab them at home.

Clinically vulnerable people as those with: 

  • chronic respiratory disease, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis and severe asthma
  • chronic heart disease (and vascular disease)
  • chronic kidney disease
  • chronic liver disease
  • chronic neurological disease including epilepsy
  • Down’s syndrome
  • severe and profound learning disability
  • diabetes
  • solid organ, bone marrow and stem cell transplant recipients
  • people with specific cancers
  • immunosuppression due to disease or treatment
  • asplenia and splenic dysfunction
  • morbid obesity
  • severe mental illness


  1. It’s brilliant news that the rollout of vaccine is so good. Good news, too, that the infection and death rates are plummeting, too. When the effects of the vaccination programme kick in we should see far fewer hospitalization and death
    But I would urge people to carry on doing the lateral flow test (available at Ramsgate Port – book online via the KCC website) even after your jab. The powers-that-be need to get hard evidence about the effectiveness of the vaccine on the community, and regular testing will help .

  2. Well done to everyone involved in this huge roll out. So many people are working so hard. Thank you.

    Details on the Westwood site are critical as are progress stats at PCN level that we’re still missing. Thanet stats get lost in the wider Kent stats, we’re a long way from the North of our county. We never get a clear picture locally, in our GP hubs or our local hospital and yet this local detail is critical to accurate and nuanced delivery and resourcing. Why is this data kept secret?

    The jab site will hugely assist the completion of the full programme of everyone 18+.

    We must take pressure off our GP hubs or wider health care will be gravely at risk. Our GPs can’t do it all.

    • If you’re over 70, you probably ought to contact your GP (assuming you want a local jab). Otherwise, wait to be contacted.

  3. Freedom of choice to choose which drugs enter my body? Covid is bad enough but distribution of vaccine is absurd and so disorganized. Northdown surgery contacted me regarding my vaccine update. I explained that my choice would be the AstraZeneca vaccine. Informed that there would be a mix of vaccines available at St. Peters Broadstairs. St. Peters receptionist unaware of vaccines available so I wait in queue until seen. Pfizer is the only vaccine available and no other vaccines were every available, call another cab and go home. Go on line to book another appointment and nearest location is Deal 17 miles away but no phone number given to check which drug is given. Pfizer has a history of discredited work in vaccinology. UK regulators have issued a warning that people who have a history of “significant” allergic reactions should not currently receive the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine after two NHS staff members who had the jab suffered serious allergic reactions.

    • The two NHS staff who suffered a reaction would very likely have suffered a reaction to any vaccination. They had previously suffered reactions, and carried “medipens”.
      This us what the NHS says:
      “the MHRA has advised that those with allergies, including anaphylaxis, to a food, medicine, vaccine or insect sting can receive any COVID-19 vaccine, as long as they are not known to be allergic to any component (excipient) of the vaccine.”
      If you want to be vaccinated, just go and get vaccinated, and be grateful that such things are freely available to all if us.

      • This vaccination rushed through in 6 months cant even have been tested for a full length of a pregnancy Andrew. You old guys might be excited, but young people won’t be queueing up when its their turn

      • Conspiracy theorists complain about all vaccines. Not just a vaccines rushed through 20 times quicker than any vaccine should be, that if you are healthy its highly unlikely that you will ever need.

  4. I got a text to book my vaccination on Friday evening and am off to St Peters on Tuesday. Yippee.

    I am severely allergic to penicillin and some other anti-biotics but am quite happy taking my chance with the Pfizer vaccination if that is the one I am offered. The way I look at it is catching Covid is a much greater risk than having an allergic reaction. And if I do have a reaction, it’s much easier to treat than falling ill with Covid.

  5. I have just gone onto the NHS website and booked by 1st and 2nd doses of the vaccine (I am over 65yrs). Yippee

  6. The Pfizer vaccine has undergone very large trials & not raised issues. It would be pulled imediately if it did. Its the same for the other ones too if anyone is thinking of selectivly bad mouthing them.

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