St Helier Hospital is operating seven days a week with a focus on vaccinating front line health and care workers and those over 70s who are visiting the hospital for outpatient appointments or in hospital and well enough to receive the vaccine.
Large vaccination centres are now operational. We are pleased that some Merton residents who are over 80 have received letters from the National Booking Services where they can book an appointment directly into one of these vaccination centres, if appointments are available, as an alternative to attending a GP practice. Our closest centres at the moment are Hawks Rd in Kingston, the Excel Centre, and Epsom Racecourse. Large vaccination sites will operate seven days a week. As more large vaccination centres come online there will be more choice for local people.
Over the weekend our vaccination team visited 22 care homes to offer the jab, ensuring some of our most vulnerable residents are protected against the disease. We believe around 80% of care home residents received their first dose. GP and community mobile teams are also beginning to contact and vaccinate housebound people in the priority groups in their homes, with those eligible being contacted in advance by phone or text or letter. All vaccinators making house calls will have NHS identification, which residents should ask for if in doubt.
Teams are also offering the vaccine to individuals who are ‘extremely clinically vulnerable’ including those who are homeless, in supported housing and those in residential care because of poor mental health working closely with Merton Council and other borough partners to make sure we reach all those eligible for the vaccine at this stage in the programme.
The next step in the programme is the introduction of community pharmacy sites, which is being managed at a regional level and on which we hope to share more information shortly.
The NHS will let you know when it is your turn to have a vaccine, so please do not contact the NHS for a vaccination before then.
Remember, the NHS will never ask you for payment or personal information to get vaccinated, so stay alert to scams and fraudsters.