31/12/2020 Letter from the GPs at Sovereign Health Network
Many of our patients will already have heard in the media of the decision made by the UK Chief Medical Officers on December 30th regarding the increased spacing between the first and second vaccine dose for both the current Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and the newly approved AstraZeneca vaccine. Following a review of clinical evidence and the latest public health data, the new recommendation is that the second dose of either vaccine should be given within twelve weeks of the first dose.
The four Chief Medical Officers have said that ‘Prioritising the first doses of vaccine for as many people as possible on the priority list will protect the greatest number of at risk people overall in the shortest possible time’. For now, this means continuing to vaccinate people aged 80 and over, care home residents and staff and front line health and social care staff.
This means is that there are a number of our patients aged 80 and over who have already received their first dose, and who were expecting to receive their second dose in the week beginning January 4th, who will need to have that second appointment rescheduled. All the GPs and other staff at Sovereign Health Network are very sorry for both the inconvenience and disappointment faced by our patients who find themselves in that position.
We will be contacting all of our affected patients over the next few days to inform them personally, but really wanted to keep all of our patients in the loop as quickly as possible.
A really important message to reiterate is that at the same time as delivering the biggest vaccination programme ever seen in the UK, we are trying our hardest to continue to offer our primary care service to patients. Our patients have an important part to play in helping us do this;
- Please do not contact the surgery to enquire about your Covid vaccination, we will contact you when it is your turn to be vaccinated. In this way, we can try to keep our phone lines clearer for patients with new or ongoing medical problems
- When we do contact you, please attend your booked appointments
- Please continue to follow all the guidance to control the virus
We are really grateful for all your support so far and would like to send you our best wishes for a more enjoyable 2021.
Dr Tom Bertram, Clinical Director, Sovereign Health Network
On behalf of all the staff of Sovereign Health Network