RESIDENTS in Kington have been told "make the sacrifice" and travel 14 miles to their nearest coronavirus vaccination centre.

While people living in Ross-on-Wye, Hereford, Ledbury and Leominster can have the vaccine close-by, those in Bromyard and Kington face a 30-minute drive to the centre.

The vaccines in Herefordshire are currently being organised by primary care networks, which are groups of GP surgeries.

With five of these groups in Herefordshire, it means there are five clinics. These are in Hereford at Saxon Hall and Quay House Surgery, with others at Ross-on-Wye's Larruperz Centre, Ledbury Community Hall and Bridge Street Sports Centre in Leominster.

But those in Bromyard who have already been invited for the jab have had to go to Ledbury, and those in Kington to Leominster – further than the 10 miles the Governments wants people to travel.


Kington Medical Practice, in Eardisley Road, said: "Whilst we appreciate travelling to Leominster for vaccination is inconvenient, we are working with other practices to deliver the vaccine programme.

"Without this shared approach we would not have been given the supplies of vaccine at all. There may be a possibility of more local delivery once we have an established supply of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

"However, we do not know when this would be possible and delivering vaccination at the site in Leominster and in Kington would necessitate a dramatic reduction in our day to day services, which are already under pressure.

"For the truly housebound the vaccine will be given in their home.

"For all others we ask that you make this sacrifice to attend the Bridge Street site. The other vaccination site will be at the Three Counties Showground in Malvern which is certainly not convenient."

Each primary care network is only permitted one vaccine site at present due to issues surrounding the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which must be stored at ultra-low temperatures.

There is hope from GPs in Kington that more local vaccine clinics could begin with the wider roll-out of the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab which can be stored at a normal fridge temperature.

Discussing GPs, hospitals, vaccination centres and pharmacies, Prime Minister Boris Johnson previously said: “If all goes well, these together should have the capacity to deliver hundreds of thousands of vaccines per day by January 15, and it is our plan that everyone should have a vaccination available within a radius of 10 miles.”

Ledbury Reporter: A map of coronavirus vaccination centres from NHS England shows some people in Herefordshire are having to travel more than 10 miles for a jab. A map of coronavirus vaccination centres from NHS England shows some people in Herefordshire are having to travel more than 10 miles for a jab.

On Monday, his spokesman was pressed on whether the 10-mile target is to be achieved by February after it was suggested some people have been told to travel 20 miles.

“The PM was clear that as we ramp up that is what we will aim to ensure but we’re opening the first seven mass vaccination centres this week, with more expected to be up and running by the end of the month, and the Prime Minister has been clear that’s our desire to try and ensure people don’t have to travel too far for a vaccine,” the spokesman said.

Vaccinations started in Herefordshire last month at the centres, with the NHS currently working through priority groups.

Top of the list are nine different categories, based mostly on age, referred to as Phase 1 of the programme. The list starts with residents in care homes for older adults plus their carers.

Second comes people over 80 plus frontline health and social care workers.

Third comes all people over 75, then people over 70 plus anyone classed as extremely vulnerable due to other clinical conditions, down to the ninth grouping of people aged from 50-54.

This top nine was determined from data showing the number of people in each category who would need to be vaccinated to prevent one death.

Phase 2 deals with people whose jobs put them at risk to Covid exposure. The Government says this could include first responders, the military, people employed in the justice system, teachers, transport workers and public servants who are critical to the fight against the pandemic.