While I’m pleased to update that over 2.6m first dose vaccinations have been given, I want to share some concerns that have been raised with me, notably the treatment faced by GP practice staff across the constituency. Practice staff are working tirelessly in very challenging circumstances to get the vaccinations done, and the abuse that some staff are facing is very concerning.
It is important to say that all practices have to follow a nationally developed prioritisation that practices are unable to deviate from. It has been developed by clinicians and scientific advisors based on the risk levels across society. I know people are keen to receive the vaccination, but practices are unable to move patients up the list. Please remember not all clinical conditions are visible/obvious, so it isn’t possible to compare to other patients who may have received theirs. Further details on the process below: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/priority-groups-for-coronavirus-covid-19-vaccination-advice-from-the-jcvi-30-december-2020/joint-committee-on-vaccination-and-immunisation-advice-on-priority-groups-for-covid-19-vaccination-30-december-2020?fbclid=IwAR3OGqpzRGDll0DOmlAhRvGrnLcQaKeZxs3F4_hVqdETPSH0h209ZA_sQJA
The other thing to highlight is that due to the complex logistics involved in this (the biggest vaccination exercise the country has ever carried out), there will inevitably be challenges with deliveries and timeframes. Practices want to vaccinate as many patients as possible, but please do understand if appointments are rearranged or booked at short notice – this is outside of their control and they’re having to work around this.
I’ve spoken to some of the practice staff across the constituency and know they’re doing absolutely everything they can (while also still seeing non-vaccination patients) to get through this. We’re all incredibly keen to get to the end of this pandemic and people are keen to receive the vaccine or see their loved ones receive theirs – but please do try to understand that practices are working around the clock on this. The light at the end of the tunnel continues to grow brighter; we’ve done more vaccinations than almost every other country so far, and I’m incredibly grateful to the brilliant practices, hospitals and volunteers for everything they are doing to get us there.