Concerns Raised About Multiple Vaccine Invites

Lack of centralised booking system leading to duplication

Wandsworth residents getting more than one invitation to get vaccine

Some people are being invited for their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine several times, it has been revealed.

Councillor Paula Walker raised the issue at Wandsworth’s Adult and Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee last Wednesday night (27 January).

She asked the Chief Executive of St George’s Hospital, Jacqueline Totterdell, if there was any co-ordination for patient invitations to come for the vaccine.

She said, “There were patients at the GPs who had also been invited by their hospitals, not just St George’s, but Guy’s and other hospitals in London. They may well be on different schedules but I can see there is a difficulty and what might turn into chaos. Is there someone trying to pull all that together?”

Ms Totterdell said the situation was “really difficult.”

“What we want to do is to get as many vaccines into as many people as we possibly can. But this hasn’t been rolled out with a centralised booking system which means, you’re right, there are patients being contacted two, three or four times for a vaccine.”

She added, “That makes it quite difficult because we haven’t got a centralised booking system to know who has contacted them and where they have been advised to go.”

However she said she thinks most patients will go to the first place that asks them, as they are only booked a couple of days in advance.

She added that the hospital then puts the names of people on to a separate central database once they have been vaccinated, which is kept and looked at by the NHS.

However, they can’t see whether they have been vaccinated before.

She said, “I know it’s not satisfactory, but it is as it is, I suppose. Whilst we could all wish that we have a better booking process, I suppose the main bit of this was that we got the vaccine out as soon as we got it and started vaccinating the most vulnerable people or those who are going to be exposed most to potential Covid.”

A spokesperson for the NHS in London said,“The letters sent to patients are clear – if you are invited to receive your first vaccine at a mass vaccination centre or pharmacy but would rather receive it from your local GP site, you should wait to be contacted by them. If you have already booked your vaccine at a local GP-led service and receive another invitation, you should ignore it.”

Sian Bayley - Local Democracy Reporter

January 29, 2021