Breaking News: COVID-19 vaccines arrive in Bedford

Vaccine elderly

The Bedford Independent has been told that COVID-19 (coronavirus) vaccines for the most vulnerable in Bedford Borough have arrived and vaccinations will start this afternoon (6 Jan).

A spokesperson for Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes CCGs said: “We are delighted that vaccinations in Bedford Borough have begun today as part of the phased rollout of the largest NHS vaccination programme in history, and as even more sites and vaccine supply come online in the coming weeks, we look forward vaccinating as many people as possible as quickly as possible.

“The vaccines are quick, safe, and effective, and we encourage everybody to accept their invitation to be jabbed when it is their turn to do so.”

Paul Wheatley, of Great Barford, received the first vaccination in Bedford today.

Speaking afterwards, Paul said it was “lovely to have it done, we’re both over the moon.” His wife Eileen said: “it’s a massive relief and it’s still sinking in that he’s actually had it.”

Starting with patients aged 80 and over, all practices within Bedford Borough will begin inviting people to two centres for their vaccinations at:

  • Kings House Conference Centre on Ampthill Road, MK42 9AZ
  • Guru Nanak Gurdwara Temple on Ford End Road, Queens Park, MK40 4JX

Vaccinations were due to begin in the week commencing 4 January, after other areas in the region had started their vaccination process.

At the time, the town’s MP, Mohammad Yasin, said he was told a post-Christmas start date was chosen to allow “time to sort out the logistics of this coordinated approach”.

He said that having two sites entirely devoted to administering vaccines will allow GPs to continue their vital day-to-day work uninterrupted.

Read: Bedford coronavirus vaccine rollout to begin in January

This was delayed further with Bedford Clinical Commissioning Board (CCG) blaming lack of supply for further delays and cancelled appointments.

Bedford Independent readers said these cancellations had caused worry and confusion for many elderly and vulnerable family members.

Mohammad Yasin MP (Labour), has said the delays have been “unacceptable” and he has now vowed to write to the Health Secretary “to demand answers”.

“Whilst the delay has been frustrating and disappointing,” he added. “I am pleased and relieved that the vaccine is now being administered and I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all the staff working around the clock to make this possible.

He also reassured residents who have received cancellation letters. “If you have received such a letter, I am sorry but please try not to worry. I am assured you will be contacted to reschedule the appointment as soon as possible,” he said.

This is a breaking news story and more details will be added as more information becomes available.

  • Update: This article was updated on 06 January 2022, 16:07 to add comment from Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes CCGs.
  • Update: This article was updated on 06 January 2022, 16:43 to add details and video of the first vaccination.