First doses for over 50s and vulnerable groups – contact your GP now
If you are in one of the priority groups currently eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine and have not had your first dose you should contact your GP now.
Whilst we have previously asked people not to call their GPs with vaccine queries we are now asking anyone still wanting to arrange a first vaccine to call their GP now.
The national booking service will be offering limited appointments through April; but local GP services can still book people onto their next available vaccine sessions.
Second dose vaccines will be continuing as planned through April. News you may have heard about limited supply is related to supplies for first doses. If you are due to have your second dose in April please attend your appointment as planned. If there are any changes to previously booked appointments people will have been contacted directly.
The majority of second doses will be given 12 weeks after your first dose. Supplies are being delivered to vaccination services to meet this timetable.
For GP-run vaccination services you should be contacted about second dose appointments no later than the Monday of the 11th week after your first dose. If you have not heard by that point please contact your GP to check.
There is more information about second doses on our Vaccine Questions & Answers page.
Large vaccination centres
Due to the limited national supplies in April, most of our five large vaccination services will be concentrating on delivering second dose vaccines to health and care staff who received their first doses from Kent Community Health.
The Chatham large vaccination centre (in the Pentagon shopping centre) will continue to offer some first dose vaccines through April; arranged through the national booking service online or by calling 119.
During April vaccine teams from the centres will be helping to deliver outreach services for a range of communities where vaccinations rates are lower. We’d like to thank all the staff and volunteers in the large centres for all their hard work. Together they have already helped protect over 179,000 people. We look forward to the centres getting back up to full capacity in the not too distant future.
We are welcoming our 11th pharmacy run vaccination service to our extended team this week. Superdrug in Sittingbourne will be running some initial sessions this week; by appointment arranged through the national booking service. Together the pharmacy run services have already helped protect over 88,000 people.
There continues to be a very strong uptake of the vaccine. Over 85% of people in the nine priority groups have now had their first dose; helping to protect not just themselves but their family, friends and vulnerable people they may come into contact with. To put an end to this pandemic, and the suffering it has caused all of us, we really do need everyone who can to accept the offer of a vaccine.
Sir Lenny Henry’s video published this week encourages use of the vaccine within Black communities. In Kent and Medway take up of the vaccine is around 60% of Black people in the priority groups. We are working with community leaders and GP practices to promote the vaccine and run clinics for BAME communities. A session with the Kingsway International Christian Centre is being planned for 11 April at their Prayer City in Chatham.
The core message from Sir Lenny Henry is important for us all – the vaccine protects not just us but those we love. The more people who have it the sooner we will be able to get back together again.
Our current vaccination rates for first doses within the priority groups are shown below:
- Cohorts 1-4 (over 70 years, health and care staff, care home residents): 92%
- Cohort 5 (65-69 years): 90%
- Cohort 6 (clinically vulnerable aged 16-64): 79%
- Cohort 7 (60-64 years): 85%
- Cohort 8 (55-59 years): 82%
- Cohort 9 (50-54 years): 73%
First dose vaccines for 50-54 year olds increased from 45% to 73% in the last week, with 27,000 more people vaccinated.