Wokingham.Today

CORONAVIRUS: Health leader outlines Pfizer and Oxford-AstraZeneca plan

Coronavirus vaccine
Michael Humphries, of Twyford, delighted to have the Covid-19 vaccine at Wargrave Surgery. Picture: Steve Smyth

THE COUNCIL is pushing for clear timelines for the Covid vaccine roll-out as the borough enters the third national lockdown.

As borough residents are asked to stay home, Cllr Charles Margetts, executive member for health, is calling for clear information from the NHS about the vaccination timetable.

He said the plan is to vaccinate 65,000 people in the borough by the end of March, across the four primary care networks (PCNs).

“It will be roughly two thirds Pfizer, one third Oxford vaccine, and the first jabs only,” he said.

“There is a plan in place. We are reliant on GP surgeries, and the stable supply of the vaccine.

“Before Christmas, we had vaccinated 3,000 people,” he added. “We have now reached 3,500 people, and all four primary care networks (PCN) will be vaccinating by Friday.”

Wokingham East PCN, which includes Wokingham Medical Centre, Burma Hills, New Wokingham Road and Woosehill surgeries is the last borough PCN to begin the vaccination process.

Numerous residents have told Wokingham.Today they are concerned about the lack of clarity in the vaccination programme.

One Wokingham woman said: “The distribution of the vaccine is the single most important issue for us all at the moment … and yet there seems to be a distinct lack of information about who is doing what and when.”

A Woosehill man also said he was concerned “there is no mention of a vaccination plan or programme on the Woosehill Medical Centre website”.

“The provision of NHS services in Wokingham is a growing scandal,” he said.

Cllr Margetts said: “We understand the frustration of residents, and why people are asking questions about when their GP surgeries will start vaccinating — it is in everybody’s interest to get the vaccine rolled-out.

“That is why we are putting pressure on Berkshire West CCG to tell us what capacity they have for vaccines and provide a clear timetable.”

Nationally, media reports have speculated whether the Pfizer vaccine and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine would be mixed and matched among recipients, with people receiving one of each.

“We have asked the CCG,” Cllr Margetts said, “and we have been told there will be only one vaccine type per person — no mixing.”

He added: “The CCG also said that a 12-week gap is perfectly safe for both vaccines.”

This means patients who were given the Pfizer jab may wait longer for their second dose than they were originally told.

Cllr Margetts said every resident will be on the list for a vaccine, with the NHS contacting people by text or phone when it is their turn.

He said West Berkshire CCG was quicker than East Berkshire CCG, where Windsor and Maidenhead is yet to receive the first jab.

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