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  • Writer's pictureHealthwatch Portsmouth

Local NHS urges people to wait for their covid-19 vaccination invitation letter

COVID-19 Vaccination programme update Feb 21

The Covid vaccination programme is now well underway and the NHS is delighted that people have already been able to receive the jab.

On Monday January 18, it was announced that people aged 70 and over and those who are listed as clinically extremely vulnerable will now also start receiving invitations to have the vaccination.

Despite the phenomenal effort to stand up clinics so quickly and begin vaccinating people, the NHS is aware of frustrations people are feeling as they are unsure of when they might be invited for their jab.

Dr Tim Cooper, GP and vaccination lead for North Hampshire, said: “We understand that many people are very keen to be vaccinated as soon as is possible, and in time a vaccine will be available for everyone. However, at this point we are working our way through the priority groups, as identified by the government scientific advisors.

Regrettably, we have to ask people to be patient – we are not holding reserve stocks of the vaccine and so cannot simply add in extra appointments – but everyone will be invited in due course. It will take time to protect everybody, but we will be in touch with everyone as soon as we possibly can.

We absolutely understand that any wait is frustrating, but calling or messaging the practice will not get you an appointment more quickly, and will take our staff away from their other work.”

However while you do wait for your invitation people are being reminded to do the things they can do.

Dr Cooper added: “Please make sure we have some up-to-date contact details for you – especially a mobile phone number if you have one. It makes it quicker and easier for us to contact you. Also make sure you are registered with a GP practice.”

While you wait for the invitation, please do remember to do the basics, to keep yourselves and others safe – comply with lockdown rules, wash your hands, cover your face, and give other people space.

The prioritisation order of vaccinations being delivered have been set nationally by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

At the moment the vaccine is being administered first to those most at risk, including:

people aged 80

People in England aged 70 and over, as well as those listed as clinically extremely vulnerable

people who live or work in care homes

health care workers

You will be invited in one of three ways to have a vaccination:

Using a local GP service: GP services are working together in your area to vaccinate as many people as possible. You may be contacted by a different surgery to the one you usually go to

Local hospital services: You might be contacted to have the vaccination as an inpatient or outpatient

At a vaccination centre: If you live within 30 to 45 minutes of a vaccination centre, and haven’t already been vaccinated, you may have received a letter asking you to book an appointment online at Or if you can’t access the NHS website you can call 119 free.

If you can’t travel to a vaccination centre, or there is another reason you can’t book an appointment at the nearest vaccination centre, you can choose to wait until your local GP services contact you if they haven’t already. If this is your preferred option – you don’t need to do anything now – wait for your GP service to make contact. More locations will become available through or 119 in the coming weeks so you could also try there again later.

If you receive a letter and already have an appointment booked to have your vaccination at a local GP service please ignore the letter. There is nothing you need to do and please attend your appointment.

Local COVID Vaccine Services (GP led) are provided across the city and organised by Primary Care Networks (PCNs) Below are the places who are giving out the vaccine:

Eastney Health Centre, Portsmouth – representing Portsmouth South PCN

Cosham Health Centre, Portsmouth – representing the Drayton Surgery PCN

Lake Road Health Centre, Portsmouth – representing Island City PCN

Kingson Crescent, Portsmouth – representing Portsdown PCN

Southsea Medical Practice, Portsmouth – representing Brunel PCN

COVID Vaccination Hospital Hub

QA Hospital, Cosham, Portsmouth

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