Agenda item

Booster Vaccination Availability


Cllr Bhinder checked that all Committee members had received Dr. Fernandes' statement on vaccine availability.


Cllr Allen commented that the statement from Dr Fernandes didn't address the core issue that a significant number of residents don't feel the service is accessible as the booking online process only works well with a phone and that bookings are steering people out of their communities or town. Cllr Allen queried why enough appointments aren't being provided in Dacorum or Hemel Hempstead for residents.


Cllr Beauchamp noted that booking a fourth Covid booster on the day when dates were released meant you were allocated anywhere other than a local centre, noting that he was allocated an appointment in Harpenden and no Hemel Hempstead vaccination centres were online. Cllr Beauchamp noted that several community centres are now providing vaccinations alongside local pharmacies, and that he hoped current vaccine centres would remain to support the roll out of the flu vaccine as well as the Covid booster for over 50s.


Cllr Bhinder agreed with Cllr Allen's comments in regard to Dr Fernandes' response.


Cllr Beauchamp refereed to Cllr Bhinder's earlier comments regarding community centres being used for the provision of core services, noting that family centre services have been provided, including vaccinations for babies, and this presence was maintained during Covid.


EGlatter noted an efficient scheme was being run at the hospital and this was stopped due to cost, adding that using more community centres results in less oversight to ensure they are working to the correct standards. EGlatter voiced concerns about how syringes were stored at the pharmacy where she received her vaccine, noting that this highlights that centres are not being monitored correctly.


Cllr Guest noted that she is a practising community pharmacist, and whilst she does not provide Covid vaccinations, she confirmed that pharmacies do have to follow standard operating procedures and they do provide flu vaccines as well a range of travel vaccines.


Cllr Guest commented on the Covid booster roll out and the anecdotal evidence regarding there being a lack of choice on where the vaccine can be given.


Cllr Bhinder suggested that the comments be fed back to Dr Fernandes regarding Covid vaccine distribution in Dacorum.

Cllr Beauchamp stated that the item could also be addressed at tomorrow's Council meeting and that he and Cllr Guest would raise this at the meeting.


EGlatter asked if the vaccination team at the ICB organises the vaccinations rather than CCGs, noting that it was stated in the ICB's minutes that they were doing this at some pharmacies and that 1 out of 3 GP practices in PCNs would provide vaccinations. It was noted that the ICB contact details would be provided to MSnell to contact rather than Dr Fernandes.


Cllr Allen noted that he had received a text from his surgery with 3 options, though only one surgery had availability, whereas residents who raised their concerns were going through a different channel that led them to pharmacies. Cllr Allen suggested that the multiple pathways could be confusing for the end user. Cllr Bhinder asked that this comment be raised at tomorrow's Council meeting. Cllr Beauchamp commented on a similar experience with the flu vaccination and that the IT systems need to be addressed.


ACTION: Cllr Allen to send ICB vaccination team contact details to MSells for a response on Covid distribution in Dacorum.