A Chesham GP surgery has announced 400 of its patients will get the Covid vaccine this week.

Water Meadow Surgery, in Red Lion Street, said on its website patients have now been booked in to get vaccinated on Thursday (January 14).

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The Covid vaccine clinic, which will take place at Chesham Town Hall, was fully booked in just 24 hours after the surgery started calling and texting patients over 80, with a spokesman saying they received 400 vaccines in the first delivery for its 700 eligible patients.

The spokesman said: “Apologies to those of you who were unable to get through on the phone, as you can see, we were rather busy.

“We also have to say sorry for the fact that we were not able to get through to everybody, especially those who do not have a mobile phone.

“Unfortunately, texting is the quickest way for us to communicate with large numbers of patients at the same time.

“Sending letters was not an option because they would have arrived after the clinic had closed.

As you know, we had very short notice of the delivery date of the vaccine, so we had to act quickly and as we have said before, we were only getting 400 vaccines in the first delivery for 700 patients, so some were going to miss out.”

The surgery said it had a technical problem with its text-sending software, adding: “So those who rushed to provide mobile numbers this last week, probably did not receive a text; we are trying to sort this out today with the software company.”

The spokesman also said they have “no idea at this time” when they will get the next round of vaccines or which vaccine it will be, adding their first priority will be patients over 80 who “missed out this time” and the second will be patients aged over 75.

The surgery added: “Once again we will probably not have enough vaccine for all patients in this group if we only receive another 400 of the Pfizer vaccine.

“Once the government starts to roll out the Oxford/Astra Zeneca vaccine, we are hopeful they will allow us to use this in the surgery, in which case we can start to vaccinate at a much, much quicker rate, and then really start to make a difference.”