Health leaders have urged people to wait to be called to get their covid-19 (coronavirus) jabs, which will be available only from the NHS.
And a meeting this week also heard a warning that scammers are trying to take advantage of people by falsely offering vaccinations from private operators.
“Don’t pick up the phone and ring your GP for the vaccine, we will contact you because it is really important that we roll this out,” said Patricia Davies, the accountable officer for the Bedfordshire, Luton, and Milton Keynes (BLMK) clinical commissioning collaborative.
“With the limited vaccine that is coming through this is a marathon, not a sprint and important that we roll this out appropriately.”
She told Wednesday’s meeting of the BLMK partnership board that health bosses are working on providing a range of new sites, within the community, but this was dependent on supplies of the vaccine coming through.
She expected announcements within the “next few days”.
Jane Meggitt, director of communications and engagement, added: “Everyone wants to know when they can get their loved one vaccinated and we are doing our level best to make sure that as soon as we are able to communicate.”
She added that it is being co-ordinated in a “calm and controlled way” with “lots of fingers crossed for the other vaccines,” which do not have to be stored in the same way.
Felicity Cox, an executive lead at BLMK, warned that covid-19 vaccine scams had already been reported and added that the genuine article was “only available from the NHS.”
Simon Linnett, who chairs the Bedfordshire Hospitals Trust asked whether priority lists were being stuck to, saying he had seen covid queue jumping on the news.
“I think one of my non-executive directors at the age of 57 is getting a covid injection, for no obvious apparent health requirement. I’m just hoping that I’ve got it right,” he said.
But later he withdrew his statement adding: “I shouldn’t have raised it. I may have got it wrong but I don’t think that I did. He’s terrified of injections.
“I withdraw my trivial and possibly wrong observation.”
Matthew Winn, chief executive of the Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust, said the information “sounds wrong” and that “we should be managing it really tightly”.
The first people to get the vaccine were the over 80s, care home staff and then NHS front line staff with high risk factors, he said.
The meeting also heard from Dr Ian Reckless, medical director of the Milton Keynes University Hospital, who said: “Covid numbers have increased in the last few weeks, similar to if not exceeding the first wave.”
And Daphne Thomas, the BLMK interim programme director, said the “tide is turning” with increasing pressures on the NHS.
“Overall the system is doing as well as it can expected to be in the circumstances,” she added.