The NHS in Oxfordshire marks one-year anniversary of GP-led vaccination sites giving first COVID jabs

On December 16 last year, the first GP-led local vaccination sites in Oxfordshire started delivering the COVID-19 jab to patients.

The NHS in Oxfordshire marks one-year anniversary of GP-led vaccination sites giving first COVID jabs

Since then, the NHS in Oxfordshire has delivered nearly 1.4 million vaccinations to help protect people against the virus – nearly 733,000 of those vaccinations have been delivered by local GP practices.

This tremendous achievement is due to the monumental effort of NHS and local authority staff, GP surgeries, pharmacies and volunteers who have delivered first and second dose vaccines as well as booster jabs into local communities, saving countless lives and reducing pressure on the NHS.

Recently local GP practices had wound down COVID vaccinations to focus on ‘business as usual’ services for their patients but have now step back up and answered the call to support the rapid expansion of the booster programme.

As a result, we have 20 Primary Care Network (GP-led) local vaccination sites on board across Oxfordshire, which will contact patients, who are 18 and over, to invite them to book their jab as close to home as possible.

People aged 18+ can also use the National Booking Service to book a booster dose of the vaccine if it has been two months (61 days) since their second dose. Other vaccinations sites include many pharmacies across the county and the large vaccination centre at the Kassam Stadium in Oxford.

The need to make boosters available at speed will require a lot of staff time and resources. The NHS in Oxfordshire is aiming to offer booster jabs to around 230,000 people in the next three weeks, so GP practices have been asked to clinically prioritise their services to help in this huge undertaking.

This could lead to some routine appointments and services being postponed for a short time while the vaccines are delivered. GP surgeries will update patients if this is the case, or patients can postpone routine appointments themselves and let the surgery know they will not be attending.

However, patients can be assured that clinically urgent services are open and urgent appointments- many of which will be face-to-face with a clinician – will continue.

David Chapman, GP and Clinical Chair at Oxfordshire CCG, said: “I’d like to thank everyone who has been involved in the vaccination programme in Oxfordshire over the past 12 months, especially GPs and practice staff, local volunteers, pharmacies and partner organisations. It is a great achievement to have done nearly 1.4 million vaccinations for protection against the virus.

“However, the vaccination programme is now being ramped up with the further threat posed by the Omicron variant and we really encourage people to have the booster jab when contacted by their GP practice or they can book an appointment via the National Booking Service.  Please do not book two appointments as this will mean someone else will not have access, and please cancel jabs if you cannot get there.

“More GP practices and pharmacies will be providing booster jabs across the county in the run up to New Year’s Eve so it’s really important that we continue all our excellent work of the past year and get as many adults as possible to have a booster jab. The best festive present we can give ourselves is to have a booster if you need one and help protect yourself and the local NHS.

“Please remember to be kind to the practice staff who are working hard for you. Also please do not go to Accident and Emergency departments unless it is a matter of life and death. Call 111 if you are wondering what service you need and you will be advised.”

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Published: 16 December 2021