Full details as Biggleswade's Covid-19 vaccination centre opens today

The Covid-19 vaccination centre at the Weatherley Centre in Biggleswade is officially opening today (Thursday).

Thursday, 21st January 2021, 10:02 am
Updated Thursday, 21st January 2021, 5:05 pm

It was originally reported that the vaccination process at the centre was due to start from January 18. However, concerns mounted when residents saw no sign of activity at the location on Monday.

Yesterday Richard Fuller, Conservative MP for North East Bedfordshire, told the Chronicle that a January 21 launch was now planned and this morning an official announcement from Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group has now followed.

The CCG said that, expanding vaccination services into areas not yet covered by a vaccination site, Retrolink Pharmacy and Jardines Pharmacy in Bedfordshire were opening vaccination hubs at The Rufus Centre in Flitwick and The Weatherley Centre in Biggleswade on January 21.

Vaccination starts in Biggleswade on January 21

The Weatherley Centre will serve the Ivel Valley North Primary Care Network which covers Ivel Medical Centre, Saffron Health Partnership, Sandy Health Centre and Greensands (Potton) Surgery.

Patients who meet the criteria set by the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation will be contacted by their practices and prompted to book via the national booking system for an appointment at their local site. They will be told which site name to look for and, as at all sites, vaccines may be given by a pharmacist, GP or nurse.

The CCG says the main difference between these blended models and the PCN centres set up across the region, is that the patient needs to go through the national booking system for their appointment rather than booked direct by the practice.

These sites have been chosen to ensure there is plenty of room for social distancing when waiting, as well as a recovery area, where people will be monitored for 15 minutes after the vaccination as appropriate.

It is important that people only attend if they have booked via the National Booking Service and arrive at the time stated. People arriving early compromises social distancing and the need to keep everyone safe while they wait.

Dr Sarah Whiteman, the Medical Director and putative Chair of BLMK CCGs, said: “Delivery of the biggest ever NHS vaccination programme has been a huge undertaking so I am thrilled that we can now say we are administering vaccines to the Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes footprint that we cover.

“I can appreciate that local people will be keen to get their jab as soon as possible, but we would ask that patients do not contact their practices at this time.

“GPs are working through their lists and making appointments according to the criteria provided by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.”

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