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Information about Mass Vaccination Centres

Last Updated 24 March 2021

If you are invited to attend a Mass Vaccination Centre and CAN attend then please DO attend as this will help us vaccinate as many as possible as quickly as possible.


Mass vaccination centres are a critical part of the vaccination model in the UK, including here in Powys.

A key reason for this is the delivery of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. This vaccine has very stringent requirements for storage, transport and supply. It arrives with us in trays of around 1000 doses which cannot be split, and is stored at very cold temperatures. When we bring it to a usable temperature it needs to be used within four days.

The specific requirements of Pfizer BioNTech mean that mass vaccination centres need to be located where they can draw on a very large catchment – to deliver 1000 vaccination doses in a short space of time. This does mean that we also need to make best use of these centres to deliver vaccination for as many people as possible as quickly as possible using other vaccine types.

The centres themselves also need to provide an environment that offers safe storage of the vaccine to avoid waste. They must also ensure social distancing for everyone involved – not just when you receive the vaccination, but also to wait safely after the vaccine to check there is no reaction. This reduces the options for where and how these centres are established.

Here in Powys we have been able to quickly set up three vaccination centres in the county - Bronllys, Builth Wells, and Newtown – each serving around 40,000 people in the south, mid and north of the county.

We are incredibly grateful for the hard work of our staff and partners to get three vaccination centres set up so quickly, providing guaranteed COVID-19 vaccination appointments for our residents as soon as possible. As a result, nearly 50,000 people have already been vaccinated through the PTHB vaccination programme, and we offered COVID-19 vaccination to Priority Groups 1 to 4 by mid February in line with the national strategy. Vaccination is also taking place through a network of GP-led clinics provided by all 16 GP practices in the county - although these clinics will be dependent on supplies to us of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

But Powys is very large and very sparsely populated, which means that delivering this vaccination programme is challenging for us and for our communities. Even with three mass vaccination centres, this still means that some residents have some distance to travel to get there.

We fully recognise this, which is why we will make sure that our approach is as flexible as possible.

On the one hand we do need as many people as possible to take up the invitation to a mass vaccination centre if they are able to do so. This will be best way to vaccinate as many people as possible as quickly as possible.

But we do absolutely recognise that travel and transport may be an issue for you, particularly in our large county. When you receive your invitation, our booking team can be contacted to discuss travel and transport options. You can also discuss if there are exceptional reasons why you cannot travel to a mass vaccination centre. They may be able to put alternative arrangements in place if you have an exceptional need – although you will need to wait longer for a local appointment.

Rest assured that even if you are unable to contact the booking centre to cancel your appointment, you will still be re-contacted. We do kindly ask you to be patient and wait to be contacted about your alternative appointment.

Your mass vaccination centre appointment will be your quickest opportunity to get the vaccine, so we would encourage you to go ahead if you can.

 

If you are invited to attend a Mass Vaccination Centre and CAN attend then please DO attend as this will help us vaccinate as many as possible as quickly as possible.

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