The UK’s national vaccination programme has made rapid progress since it began in December, with millions of vaccines already administered and hundreds of thousands more people getting them each day. For daily updates on the how the national programme is progressing, click here.
At its launch, the Government - on the advice of the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) - split the vaccination programme into 2 phases based on clinical need in order to increase its effectiveness and save lives.
The vaccination programme is now in Phase 2.
This phase targeted the top 9 priority groups. These groups were made up of people aged 50 and over, frontline health workers, carers, and individuals aged 16 and over who have underlying health conditions. Vaccination of Phase 1 groups was officially completed on 13 April. Vaccinations in this phase were delivered through three main routes - GPs, large vaccination centres and home visits.
If you believe you fall within one of these groups but have yet to secure an appointment for your first jab, you can still book an appointment. More information on this phase can be found here.
Phase 2 covers individuals aged 18 to 49. Currently people aged 18 and above - or within three months of their 18th birthday - are eligible to book an appointment.
You can book your appointment through the NHS vaccination portal here. These appointments will be for vaccinations at one of the large vaccination centres or pharmacies which are taking part in the programme and people will book the dates for both their first and second doses at the same time. You may receive a text from 'NHSvaccine' inviting you to book your vaccination appointments at a larger vaccination centre or pharmacy. The text will be sent to the phone number your GP surgery has listed for you and you may also get a letter a few days after.
For Phase 2, all vaccines will be booked in this way, rather than through GPs.
The national booking service has also been adapted to identify pregnant women so it will show sites and dates where Pfizer is available.
People aged 16 to 17 and 9 months are unable to use the national booking system, but are able to use walk-in clinics. to find a centre offering this service, click here.
children aged 12 to 15 who are eligible - due to underlying health conditions or living with people with an immunosuppressed person - will be contacted by the Kent and Medway Clinical Care Commission for arrangements to be made. More information can be found here.
There are several large vaccination centres and participating pharmacy sites throughout Kent and in neighbouring parts of Sussex. A full list can be found here.
Appointments are subject to vaccine availability and national vaccination supplies faced constraints in April leading to an emphasis on providing second doses for patients in Phase 1. This can result in people finding they can only book appointments some distance away from their chosen centre, but as the national supply improves, more local appointments should come online.
The nearest large vaccination centre for West Kent is the Angel Sports Centre in Tonbridge and a service is also operated by Pharmacy2U at the Tunbridge Wells Army Reserve Barracks.
Other nearby pharmacy services include:
- Ticehurst Pharmacy
- Sevenoaks Pharmacy
- Field Pharmacy, East Peckham