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GPs begin offering Covid vaccine at nine sites across Kent

Nine sites are opening across Kent and Medway from today so GPs can start to deliver the Covid vaccine as cases of the virus continue to rise.

The centres, which will provide doses of the Pfizer / Biontech vaccine, will be the first to open in the county, with more locations due to be announced in the coming weeks.

It has been a huge logistical challenge with GP surgeries working around the clock to make sure everything is in place to be able to welcome the most vulnerable patients.

Four sites will start operating today, another four on Wednesday and one on Thursday. Up to 17 are being planned to open by the end of the week although details on all locations are yet to be confirmed.

The roll out will continue further in the New Year.

Dr Jack Jacobs, a GP from Hamstreet Surgery near Ashford, whose patients will be vaccinated at Charing Surgery from Friday, said: "We're really keen for people to come.

"It has been an enormous challenge. Although the vaccine has been given all the authorisation, just the practicalities and logistics has been a real significant challenge.

"General practice is taking on that challenge and working incredibly hard, incredibly long hours to meet it."

Dr Jack Jacobs is a GP at Hamstreet Surgery
Dr Jack Jacobs is a GP at Hamstreet Surgery

Patients are being urged not to call surgeries to try and book a vaccination appointment - instead you will be contacted by phone, text or letter by your surgery.

The focus is currently on patients who are aged 80 or over and can come to the vaccination sites.

Each site will start with 975 doses of the Pfizer / Biontech vaccine which will be given to patients over 3-5 days. Two doses will be needed, taken a month apart.

However, Dr Jacobs adds: "It's a very worrying time, I'm really worried about the pressure on hospitals at the moment as they appear to be very busy across the patch.

"So while we start this vaccination process, it's just so vital that people listen to the rules and respect the rules we're all under in tier three at the moment and, I suspect, likely to stay for some time."

The latest numbers show Kent has an infection rate of 429.8 in the seven days to December 9 with the total number of cases at 6,357, which is an increase of 31.8%. In Medway, the infection rate is 618.2 over the same period with 1,688 cases - up 1.6%.

Nine vaccination sites are opening in Kent over the next few days. Picture: PA
Nine vaccination sites are opening in Kent over the next few days. Picture: PA

These are the surgeries covered under each vaccination site:

Queen Victoria memorial Hospital, Herne Bay

The Heron Medical Practice and Park Surgery.

Abbey Court Medical Centre, Tunbridge Wells

Kingswood Surgery, Speldhurst & Greggswood Medical Practice, Clanricarde Medical Centre, Grosvenor & St James Medical Practice, Abbey Court Medical Centre, St Andrews Medical Centre, Rusthall Medical Centre, Waterfield House Practice and Lonsdale Medical Centre.

Sheerness Health Centre, Sheerness

Sheerness Health Centre, St George's Medical Centre, The OM Medical Centre, Dr Witt’s Practice, Sheerness Health Centre, Minster Medical Group, Sheppey Healthy Living Centre and Sheppey NHS Healthcare Centre, Sheppey Community Hospital.

Mocketts Wood, Broadstairs

The Limes Medical Centre, Northdown Surgery, Bethesda Medical Centre and Mocketts Wood Surgery.

Minster Surgery, Ramsgate

Westgate Surgery, Minster Surgery, St Peter’s Surgery, Birchington Medical Practice, Broadstairs Medical Practice and Ash Surgery.

Swanscombe Health Centre, Swanscombe

Downs Way Medical Practice, Pilgrims Way Surgery and Swanscombe Health Centre.

Len Valley Branch Surgery, Maidstone

Bearsted Medical Practice, Len Valley Practice, Headcorn Surgery, Sutton Valence Surgery and Orchard Surgery (Langley)

Long Catlis Road Surgery, Rainham

Thames Avenue Surgery, Orchard Family Practice, Maidstone Road Rainham Surgery, Waltham Road Medical Centre, Wigmore Medical Centre, Eastcourt Lane Surgery, The Church View Practice, Parkwood Family Practice and Long Catlis Road Surgery.

Montefiore Centre, Ramsgate

The Grange Medical Practice, Summerhill Surgery, Dashwood Medical Centre, East Cliff Practice and Newington Road Surgery.

Other vaccination sites:

William Harvey Hospital in Ashford ran the first Covid-19 vaccine clinics in Kent, starting from Tuesday, December 8.

Medway Maritime Hospital is receiving an initial supply of the vaccine this week.

For the latest coronavirus news and advice, click here.

Read more: All the latest news from Kent

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