West Dorset patients who received COVID vaccine will get second dose as scheduled

Nigel Whitaker is given the Covid vaccine by Carly Reed at Bridport Medical Centre

THE second COVID-19 vaccines for those who had a first dose in December will still go ahead at Bridport Medical Centre on Wednesday, January 6, despite government announcing appointments should be rescheduled.

Recipients of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine had previously been told there would be a three-week gap between doses, with many already booked in for their second jab.

But the government announced a change to its COVID vaccination strategy this week, saying second doses of the newly-approved Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine and the Pfizer/BioNTech jab would now be given up to 12 weeks after the first dose.

The government said it hoped the approach would free up more doses and mean as many people as possible would soon get their first jab and have some protection against the disease.

However, the vaccination clinic on January 6 will still be going ahead as planned at Bridport Medical Centre and patients booked into this clinic – including those from Lyme Regis – should attend as arranged.

Bridport Medical Centre was chosen as the surgery to administer the vaccinations for the Jurassic Coast Primary Care Network (PCN), a collaboration of Barton House Surgery, Tollerford Practice, Lyme Regis Medical Centre, Charmouth Surgery and Bridport Medical Centre.

The Jurassic Cost clinical directors, together with Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have agreed that this will go ahead.

Dr Andy Finucane and Dr Dani Farrell, clinical directors of the Jurassic Coast PCN, said: “Patients should be reassured that there are no safety concerns in the new guidance, and it will not impact on how effective the vaccination is in protecting patients from COVID-19 once the course is complete.

“Logistically, at such a late stage, it would be impossible to rearrange the appointments for the 975 patients booked on January 6.

“We await further guidance on the next stages of the vaccine programme, particularly following the extremely good news that the AstraZeneca (Oxford) vaccine has been approved for use.

“This vaccine should be far easier to manage and administer in primary care.”

The Jurassic Healthcare senior management team meet daily to discuss the programme and will be meeting again on Monday and will keep patients informed of any changes.

“Dr Finucane and Dr Farrell added: “We will be reviewing how we progress with the next batch of vaccinations as a matter of urgency on Monday.

“Patients booked in for their second vaccine do not need to call us. We will contact patients to reschedule their second vaccine appointment. We ask that patients do not call their surgeries about this change but keep an eye on the practices’ websites and local social media.

“Please do inform any friends or relatives who may not have access to these sites.”

Bridport Medical Centre’s Facebook can be found at www.facebook.com/Bridportmedical

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