This week's column, Buckinghamshire Council leader Martin Tett writes:

Amidst the desperate stories and the current Covid-19 case numbers at the moment, it has been a major positive this week to be able to outline how the vaccination programme in Buckinghamshire is being set up and accelerated.

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I have - understandably - been inundated with many emails and calls on this, with residents quite rightly asking when they’ll be getting their jabs.

Overall, the system is being managed by the NHS and the Council is supporting in various ways.

It’s vital residents are kept fully up to date about what’s happening and when.

I know there has been frustration while people wait to hear about their appointments, but the great news is that everyone aged 80 or over will be offered a vaccine appointment through their GP by the end of January.

Some Bucks residents are being invited to book appointments at the national mass vaccination sites and more of those sites are opening in the coming weeks.

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We expect two to be in Buckinghamshire.

Locally, all GP surgeries in Bucks have come together to form eight GP-led vaccination sites; most of these are already opening and giving vaccines and we expect all of them to be fully operational by January 25.

It’s a huge logistical operation getting this up and running, and it will inevitably mean that some of you will have friends and neighbours who will hear about appointments before you do, but please be reassured that this is ramping up fast and it won’t be long now, especially if you’re in the highest priority groups.

We are on track to offer vaccination appointments to all Bucks residents aged 70 and over by mid-February.

Please also be assured that if you get a letter inviting you to book at a national site that’s a bit of a drive away, you will still be offered a local appointment through your GP if you’re in the top priority groups.

I know the wait for this moment has been really tough and I’m very pleased that the anxiety we’ve felt about protecting our most vulnerable friends and family members will be eased in the coming weeks.

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It’s also really important to me that Buckinghamshire residents are kept fully up to date on this vital information so we have set up some special pages about the vaccine roll out on the Buckinghamshire Council website at

I must add too that while this provides a big relief to us all, when you have had a vaccine you need to keep following the rules until more people have had theirs too.

It’s essential that we keep strictly following the current guidance at all times.

Doing this alongside the vaccine roll-out is our way out of this.