Lakeside surgery ‘ready’ to go with Corby Covid vaccines next week after eleventh-hour NHS hitch

The surgery had been poised to start the programme - but partners were told on Friday the vaccination couldn’t be delivered

Lakeside Surgery in Corby and (inset) the Pfizer vaccine. Picture: Alison Bagley.
Lakeside Surgery in Corby and (inset) the Pfizer vaccine. Picture: Alison Bagley.

Corby’s biggest GP surgery has been told once again to prepare to vaccinate thousands of vulnerable people from across the borough after a false start this week.

The huge Lakeside Healthcare practice in Cottingham Road - one of the largest in the country - had been put on standby by NHS England to begin to deliver vaccines yesterday (Monday, December 21).

Stsff had spent hours booking-in patients for appointments on the first four days of this week. But at the last minute on Friday (December 18), disappointed medics were told by NHS England that an ‘equipment issue’ meant they could not begin their programme.

It is not clear what the issue was. On the same day, nearby Harborough Field Surgery in Rushden had a fridge failure, meaning hundreds of precious vials of the vaccine had to be ditched to ensure patient safety.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine arrives in batches of 975 and must be stored at minute 70 degrees before being transported to surgeries where it can be stored in traditional fridges safely for up to five days before expiration.

Now bosses at Lakeside have said that they are prepared to begin giving the vaccine to over-80s in Corby from next Monday (December 28), although there is still a chance this may not happen.

In a statement to the Northants Telegraph last night (Monday, December 21), Lakeside said: “The Covid-19 Vaccination Programme is being managed nationally by NHS England and the Clinical Commissioning Groups in local areas. We had been asked to be ready to deliver vaccinations from today (Monday, December 21) and pressed ahead, putting everything in place to ensure we were ready to go and deliver this vital vaccine to our eligible patients.

“Unfortunately, we were informed by NHS England on Friday that there was an ‘equipment issue’ and we were asked to ‘stand down’ and not to commence our vaccination programme as planned this week.

“Today we have been asked by NHS England to be ready to deliver vaccines week beginning Monday, December 28, and are in the process of contacting all eligible patients again.

”However, it is worth stressing that NHS England has also said ‘there is a chance that the service will not be available until after these dates’.

”If this is the case, we will contact patients with an appointment to offer them an alternative date.

“We are truly sorry for any inconvenience caused to our patients.”