Changes being made to local vaccination programme as some vaccine venues prepare to withdraw

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Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire’s network of Covid-19 vaccine sites will change from next month, with some venues set to close.  

Around 15 venues from across the region will withdraw from the vaccination programme during December.

Appointments for first and second doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, as well as booster jabs, will continue to be available from a wide range of locations, including community pharmacies, large vaccination centres and some GP-led venues.   

The planned change will enable vaccination centre staff to offer additional support to their frontline primary care colleagues ahead of what is expected to be a busy winter period.

Although some 1,500 additional staff, including volunteers and military personnel, were brought in to support the vaccination programme, many of the teams working in the vaccine centres have been doing so on top of their existing primary care work.

Gill May, Director of Nursing and Quality, said: “It is no exaggeration to say that our community-based, GP-led vaccination sites have been absolutely instrumental in helping us to provide more than 1.6 million Covid-19 vaccines in the space of just 12 months.

“Healthcare teams at each of the venues have gone above and beyond each and every day in order to keep people protected against coronavirus, and we thank them for the collective professionalism demonstrated on a daily basis.

“With vaccine appointments still available from a wide range of community locations, now is the right time for staff to turn their focus to providing care in GP practices, and supporting their frontline colleagues who have continued to work tirelessly throughout the duration of the pandemic.”

Patients will be able to see which vaccination sites are available when booking an appointment through the National Booking Service, which will also list nearby community pharmacies offering the Covid-19 vaccine.

The region’s large vaccine centres at Bath Racecourse and Salisbury City Hall, as well as the Steam Museum in Swindon, will continue to participate in the vaccination programme.

Any person eligible for a first, second or booster dose is encouraged to book their vaccine appointment without delay.

All vaccination sites across Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire, including community pharmacies, are listed on National Booking Service, which is available online at www.nhs.uk or over the phone by calling 119.

More information on the local rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine, including a detailed list of frequently asked questions, is available online at www.bswccg.nhs.uk.