Top tips for attending vaccine clinics
Vaccinations services are busy and it is winter. Please come prepared for some queuing outside vaccine centres.
- Please don’t bring anyone else with you, unless you have to. You may accompany someone who is having their vaccination if they cannot attend without your help.
- Dress warmly, but remembering you’ll have to expose your shoulder to be vaccinated.
- Aim to arrive for your appointment time. People coming early can add to queues.
- Wear a face covering and keep two metres apart in queues.
- There are no refreshments at the sites, so you may wish to bring a bottle of water or snack.
- If you have a walking aid or portable chair you may wish to bring it with you.
- Visit the toilet before you arrive.
Please do not come to any type of vaccination service without a pre-arranged appointment.
Large vaccination centres
There are now two large-scale vaccination centres open in Kent and Medway, with a third set to open next week and a fourth in planning for the final week of February. The potential for further sites to support the wider roll out of the vaccination programme is being reviewed.
- Folkestone – Folca building (the former Debenhams building)
- Gravesend – The Woodville (Woodville Halls)
- Tonbridge – Angel Centre (from 8 February)
- Thanet – details to follow
To use these centres you must have an appointment. People in the priority groups will receive a letter from the NHS inviting you to book.
If you have a booking already arranged with a GP service when you get the national letter; please keep your original appointment with the GP service. This will help us manage supplies effectively and keep slots free for other people.
You can also ignore the letter if:
- you have already had a first vaccine locally - you will need to have the second dose through the same service.
- you do not want to travel to the large centres – your local services will still contact you.
If you do book online or by phone for one of the large centres, and the centre closest to you does not appear as an option it means there are no slots currently available. You can try again later. You do not have to travel to a centre that is a long way away.
Find out what to expect at the large vaccination centres. These centres are run by Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust.
GP led services
Please don’t worry if you are in one of the top four priority groups and have not yet received an invitation. Our GP services are planning to vaccinate an average of 9,000 people a day this week and next so there are still lots of appointments coming.
GP services receive their vaccine supplies with relatively short notice and can only invite people once they confirm the quantity and type of vaccine coming. This does mean you will be contacted just a day or so ahead of the clinic you are being invited to.
The AstraZeneca vaccine is allowing GP networks to distribute the vaccine beyond their main vaccination base. This has boosted the number of local sites offering the vaccine to over 70. Our online map continues to show the 39 main sites, but you may well find that when you are invited for the vaccine it is available at a closer location.
House bound patients
Vaccination visits are underway for patients who are recorded by their GP practice as housebound. We expect those who have not already been vaccinated to be contacted between now and 14 February.
GP-led teams are overseeing vaccination of house bound patients. The actual vaccine may be given by a community nurse or other healthcare professional working on behalf of your GP practice. The details of who will come, and when, will be confirmed directly by your local vaccination team.
House bound services did start later than vaccination clinic due to the restrictions on transporting the Pfizer vaccine, which was the first to be approved for use. But we will contact everyone recorded as house bound by their GP surgery.
Three more pharmacy service joint the Kent and Medway Covid-19 vaccination programme today (4 Feb); bringing the current total to seven. All bookings must be through the national Covid-19 vaccine booking service.
- Sevenoaks Pharmacy
- Lawsat Pharmacy, vaccinations at Cliffe Woods Community Centre
- New Romney Pharmacy
- Clockwork Pharmacy, Deal
- Boots Bluewater
- Boots Chatham
- Pharmacy2U, Maidstone
Social care staff vaccinations
Frontline social care staff are still being encouraged to come forward and book vaccinations. You do not need to wait to be contacted by your GP or other service. Please speak to your employer as information has been widely shared through social care leads. If you cannot find information directly from your employer you can contact email@example.com
Details of frontline health and care staff entitled to the vaccine now are available in this document (page 11).