I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year. The main thing I know many local residents are looking forward to is the rollout of the Covid-19 (coronavirus) vaccine and hopefully a return later in the year to normality, or as close to as possible.
Like most Bedford Borough residents, I want us to have access to the Coronavirus vaccination as soon as possible, however, the timetable and management is not in the hands of Bedford Borough Council.
The rollout of the Coronavirus vaccine – where and when – is determined by the NHS and hospitals, the Clinical Commissioning Group and GPs.
I was extremely disappointed that Bedford Borough was not included in the first wave of vaccinations and I raised this with the Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) at our most recent Local Outbreak Engagement Board.
You can watch the meeting here.
At that meeting we were told there was an additional delay, and I know a number of residents have had their appointments for the start of this week cancelled.
The CCG has told me that the cancellation of vaccination for the beginning of this week is due to supply issues outside of their control.
My understanding, from the CCG, is that patients that had there appointment cancelled would not go to the back of the queue and should receive a new appointment soon.
I have been told vaccinations will start later this week at Kings House on Ampthill Road and at the Temple on Ford End Road from next week. I believe the NHS is looking for community vaccination centres from later in the month.
At the moment the priority groups are over-80s, care workers and health workers.
GPs in Bedford Borough plan to start vaccinating patients from this Thursday and they will contact all patients inviting them to attend.
If they invite you to attend please make every effort to do so. It is true that GPs elsewhere in the CCG area have started vaccinations already.
I have repeatedly pushed for an earlier start date for Bedford Borough residents.
The logistics for vaccination of those under-80 is being planned, but clearly there are a lot of people to be vaccinated before we get to that stage.
This is a monthly guest column provided by
Mayor Dave Hodgson and published unedited.