The site will initially start vaccinating people in cohort 5 which is the 65-69 year olds. Earlier eligible groups (groups 1-4 in the list below) who have not yet taken up a vaccination offer can also book an appointment at the Centre. This includes those aged 70/80+, as well as front line health and social care workers and those who are clinically extremely vulnerable.
Appointments are being offered via the national NHS booking system and we are urging people not to turn up at the site without a booked appointment.
Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust is acting as lead provider for public vaccination sites in Oxfordshire Buckinghamshire and Berkshire West (BOB) and the Madejski site will build on existing work carried out by the Berkshire West CCG PCNs.
Teams from Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) have been working with their Oxford colleagues for the last few weeks setting up the site
The Madejski site will, over time, operate seven days a week dependent on vaccine supplies and demand. Appointments will be staggered to allow for social distancing and people are urged not to turn up early to prevent queues forming.
If you want more information including a video showing you what to expect when you visit the site for your vaccine you can find it here
The list below shows the groups of people prioritised for the vaccination. The first four groups have largely been covered by the Berkshire West vaccination programme already.
- Residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
- All those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers
- All those 75 years of age and over
- All those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals
- All those 65 to 69
- All individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality; unpaid carers
- All those 60 years of age and over
- All those 55 years of age and over
- All those 50 years of age and over
How people will get their vaccination?
The centre will be open to the public by invite only.
Nobody needs to contact the NHS, as people will be invited when it is their turn as part of the prioritisation list determined by the JCVI. People cannot get vaccinated by just turning up.
Volunteers will be on hand to help direct people the short walk from the car park to the Centre and will also assist people with disabilities.
If anyone has already received a jab before receiving the national booking letter, or would prefer to wait to be invited to attend a hospital or GP service, they can simply ignore it.
People, such as care home residents who are unable to travel to vaccine centres, hospitals or GP-led sites, are already being jabbed at home.
If they cannot or do not want to travel to a vaccination centre people can wait to be invited to be jabbed by a local GP service, at a local pharmacy or hospital hub.
The scale of our operation
It is expected the vaccination centre could be vaccinating thousands of people per week. However, this will depend on a range of factors and so the centre is capable or scaling up and down according to vaccine supplies and demand.
The NHS is vaccinating 140 people every minute and, with the help of centres like the Madejski, hopes to increase this rate. Nationally, there are also more than 1,000 GP services and more than 250 hospital sites now offering vaccinations in England.
Operating safely and effectively
The vaccination centre will operate under the strictest infection control procedures and Oxford Health teams will be working exceptionally hard on what is to be a vitally important and momentous task.
We will have support staff ready to help those who may exhibit a range of needs; from those with physical disabilities who will be assisted to use a lift to access the vaccination pods, to people who may be experiencing anxiety.
We will have mental health support staff in place and people to help those who may have language barriers. A walk through video is also being filmed and will be available early next week.
Every patient will be booked in and fully assessed before their vaccination takes place. We also have clinical teams ready to assist in the unlikely event of a post-vaccine medical episode.
Every person vaccinated will leave our centre with an advice leaflet. Second vaccinations, which must now be carried out within 12, rather than the original 21 days, will be organised at the centre.
People will be expected, where possible, to return to the place in which they received their first jab for their follow up. There is no choice in which vaccine people can have.
Staffing of the centre
We have now recruited a dedicated, committed and agile workforce for vaccination hubs that can be sustained for several months.
Our approach is to only use only qualified, trained and paid staff, which should reassure the public they are getting the vaccine from the most clinically trained and committed workforce available.
What vaccine for COVID-19 is currently available?
Both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines are now available. Both vaccines have been shown to be safe and offer high levels of protection, and have been given regulatory approval by the MHRA.
Is the NHS confident the vaccines are safe?
Yes. The NHS will not offer any Covid-19 vaccinations to the public until independent experts have signed off that it is safe to do so.
The MHRA, the official UK regulator, have said that both of these vaccines have good safety profiles and offer a high level of protection, and we have full confidence in their expert judgement and processes.
As with any medicine, vaccines are highly regulated products. There are checks at every stage in the development and manufacturing process, and continued monitoring once it has been authorised and is being used in the wider population.
How you can help
Please keep promoting the message of how vitally important it is to stick to the lockdown rules and keep thinking ‘Hands, Face, Space’. This is still, and will remain, a big part of controlling the virus and stopping the spread.
Getting vaccinated is crucial and we would like to ask for your support in encouraging anyone who has been contacted to arrange their vaccination to do so without delay.