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Coronavirus West Berkshire: Surgeries facing 'very restricted supply' of Pfizer vaccinations

Falkland Surgery provides update on Newbury Racecourse hub

John Herring

John Herring


01635 886633

Coronavirus West Berkshire: Surgeries facing 'very restricted supply' of Pfizer vaccinations

The wait for covid-19 vaccinations in Newbury and Thatcham is due to GP surgeries facing restrictions in its supply. 

Last week the director of nursing at Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Group, Debbie Simmons, said that a vaccination hub at Newbury Racecourse would go live this week. 

She added that all surgeries in Berkshire West would be live for Pfizer vaccinations by the end of this week. 

One person has contacted NewburyToday saying that their 86-year-old neighbour had been told by their surgery that there were no doses of the vaccine in Newbury. 

Smaller surgeries such The Boathouse Surgery in Pangbourne began vaccinating patients before Christmas, while Chapel Row has been vaccinating over 75s since last week. 

Director of Public Health Berkshire West Meradin Peachey previously said there had been "gaps in the system" and the complexity of the Pfizer vaccine had played a part in it not being available everywhere straight away.

Today (Monday) the Falkland Surgery in Wash Common said that surgeries were "very restricted by supply" of the vaccine. 

In a message to patients the surgery said: "Delivery of Covid-19 vaccinations at Newbury Racecourse is expected this week.

"As only one batch of 975 vaccines will be delivered this week the first patients being invited will include Falkland surgery as part of Kennet PCN (Primary Care Network) and the the rural practices (six practices).

"We are very restricted by supply of this vaccine at present. We expect the supply to increase and then this will be shared across nine practices in the region". 

The vaccination hub at the racecourse has still not been officially confirmed by NHS England. Mrs Simmons told a public meeting last week that she wasn't officially meant to provide details but it's existence was public knowledge and had been reported in the press. 

Newbury Racecourse said today that final preparations were being made for the hub to open later this week.

The Falkland Surgery said today that vaccination clinics will be held at the Racecourse over a period of two to three days at a time.

In its statement it said: "Depending on when the vaccine is received will determine the dates of the clinic, if the vaccines are received on a Friday then clinics will be on Sat, Sun & Mon etc. We are not pre-booking appointments until we have confirmation of the delivery dates as we do not want to cancel patients appointments should no vaccines appear." 

The surgery said that patients aged 80 and over and those clinically at risk could expect an invite once notification of the next vaccine delivery was received.

"The timeline for appointment booking will be very short so we will be calling patients on the telephone to arrange appointments," It added. "Those patients will have appointments booked for a later clinic that week."

The surgery advised those in the first cohort who could not drive to the racecourse to contact family or friends to arrange transport, and said there might be an opportunity for volunteers to help.

It warned against scams saying that surgery staff would not ask for bank details, and that people asked should put the phone down and report it to the police.

Finally, the surgery asked people not contact the practice to book a vaccination as "you may be disappointed".

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Article comments

  • Villager

    12/01/2021 - 21:26

    Disappointed? I'll say we're disappointed. Sounds like we have been put at the back of the queue after our doctors were offered the vaccine and REFUSED it.


  • Newbury boy

    12/01/2021 - 13:00

    My elderly parents have had two doses of the pfizer vaccine as have almost all their friends. I am pleased they don't live in West Berks


    • amigo

      15/01/2021 - 19:16

      Newbury boy - in the same boat - my very elderly parents had it over a week ago - just over the hill in Oxfordshire! Whats going on here? Its not exactly the middle of nowhere.


  • rosebud

    12/01/2021 - 10:28

    The vaccination hub at the racecourse hasn't even been been officially confirmed by the NHS. Drs have had months to sort this out, lets face it most of them have been hiding away most of last year. plus what's the point setting up a hub at the racecourse with allegedly so few doses of the vaccine allocated to this area. Come on our local MP, get a grip and find out what's going on, please.


  • Art E Ficial

    12/01/2021 - 10:03

    Perhaps #LauraFarris would care to comment why West Berks is so late starting any kind of vaccination program? No vaccine secured, no delivery date or schedule, vaccination centre not up & running & no info for priority groups. Why does it seem to be a surprise there's a vaccine, that roll out needs organising & managing logistically. Just get on with it, lives are at risk, the economy is on its ar5e, the high st is doomed and hospitality is crippled.


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