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A text invitation to book a vaccine will look like this (some details hidden here)

No vaccination yet? Your questions answered

Brightlingsea's Colne Medical Centre has issued information for people waiting to have their Covid-19 vaccinations.

  • Q. I have had a text from the practice to book the covid vaccine. What should I do?
  • A. The text message contains a link that you should click on, this takes you to a system to book your own appointment. Reception staff do not have access to the booking system and cannot do this for you. If you have difficulties please ask a friend or family member to help. (If the phone the text is received on can't connect to the internet, the link can be copied into the browser on a smartphone or computer and a booking made from there.) If you are unable to book this way please contact the surgery and ask reception to pass a message to the GP care advisor . Please note this will be a longer process due to the volume of bookings being made.
  • Q. I’m 75, when will I get my vaccine?
  • A. Practices in North East Essex are still booking the over 80s and housebound patients. As soon as we are ready to move on to the next group we will update our website and facebook page. If you have a mobile phone please make sure that we have your correct telephone number, you can update your details via the practice website. Vaccination invitations will be sent in bulk by SMS in the first instance, then patients will be contacted on landline numbers by central administrative staff.
  • Q. Why isn’t the practice giving vaccinations?
  • A. In our local area all practices have joined together to staff three central vaccination centres at Clacton, Harwich and Colchester with nurses, GPs and administrators seven days a week. If you are housebound please pass on your details and the practice can arrange for your vaccine to be given at home. Anyone who has difficulties with transport to the Clacton vaccination centre may be able to use the Dial-a-Ride service operated by Tendring Community Transport. Trips to Clacton cost £7 return, but are free for bus pass holders. Call 01255 436 962 for more information.
  • Q. How many people have been vaccinated so far?
  • A. At the Colne Medical Centre the total number of over 80s who are not housebound and are eligible for the vaccine is 716. So far 294 patients have booked in for the vaccination, 100 patients have not responded to our message and 322 patients are being contacted manually by the central administration team who will make the booking for them.

The Colne Medical Centre says that everyone involved in the vaccination clinics is working tirelessly to ensure that local communities are vaccinated safely and as quickly as possible. "Please be patient, you will be contacted when your age group becomes eligible," is the message.

The editor writes: The procedure for receiving a vaccination at the St Helena centre in Jackson Road runs like this:

  • The main entrance is opposite the bus station in Jackson Road. Those attending will be met in a large gazebo on the forecourt, where their name and details will be checked. You'll be asked to give a next of kin contact and a phone number for them
  • On entry, your temperature will be taken, then you'll be asked to sit and wait until called by a staff member who will check your name and date of birth again, and check that you have no allergies or other health issues that may prevent you having a vaccination
  • After that you will be directed to another waiting area, from where you'll be called to have the injection
  • You'll then have to wait in a recovery area for 15 minutes until being allowed to leave via the exit into West Avenue
  • On leaving, you'll be given a card which states that you've had one dose of the vaccine. This should be kept safe as it will be updated when you receive the second dose. This could be in up to 12 weeks' time
  • On Sunday evening, the process took around 30 minutes, but can take longer at busy times.

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