Vaccine teams in Dorset pulling out all the stops

14th December 2021

We’re in this together as Dorset vaccination programme expands

The Dorset health and care system is pulling out all the stops to expand the vaccination programme as quickly as possible following the Prime Minister’s announcement late Sunday (12 December).  

And system leaders are asking local people to be patient while they get everything in place as the NHS continues to deliver the largest vaccination programme in our history.

The COVID-19 vaccination roll-out is being coordinated and delivered by the NHS in Dorset working closely with partners including councils and the voluntary and community sector.

Dr Andy Rutland, Dorset GP and clinical lead for the Dorset COVID-19 vaccination programme, said:

“This is a monumental effort as we step up even further to expand the vaccination programme for everyone who’s eligible.

“We know that some people have had issues booking their booster at a local venue and we’re working hard to keep increasing availability. Please be patient and do keep checking the national booking system as slots are being added all the time.

King's Park Vaccination Centre, Dorset.jpg“We’re all in this together and we owe a huge thank you to everyone supporting the roll-out – staff, volunteers and the public. It’s been a tough year for all of us so please continue to be kind, patient and understanding to our vaccine teams who are working tirelessly to make this happen.”

Dr Rutland also made a renewed appeal for potential vaccinators to come forward to join our vaccine teams as the programme continues to expand at speed.

Sam Crowe, Director of Public Health for Dorset Council and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council, said:

“With the emergence of the Omicron variant alongside existing high infection rates locally, it’s more important than ever that we all continue to play our part in protecting ourselves and each other from the risks of COVID-19. We are working closely with the NHS to support the expansion of the booster programme, and getting your booster is the best way to protect yourself from serious illness caused by any variant of COVID-19, so I urge everyone to get yours as soon as you can.

“Nationally, we can see that Omicron is spreading quickly, and whilst there are still a lot of unknowns about this variant, the principles to help us reduce transmission remain the same. Vaccination alone will not stop the virus from spreading, so to be able to live safely with COVID-19, we do need to keep taking precautionary measures. This includes taking regular rapid tests to check you’re not infectious, particularly before meeting others or attending gatherings, making sure you have plenty of ventilation, and wearing a face covering in indoor and crowded spaces. If we all follow these measures now and get boosted as soon as possible, we can hopefully prevent the need for further restrictions and keep doing the things we all enjoy.”

How and where to get your booster jab

  • The best way to get your vaccination at a time and place that suits you is to book ahead.
  • You can either wait for your GP practice to contact you or book via the national booking service to get your booster at a larger centre or pharmacy.
  • Local GP-led vaccine services are offering the vaccine to the most vulnerable, so that they are invited to get their booster first.  
  • We are now running two vaccination centres in Dorset – Vespasian House, Dorchester and King’s Park Hospital, Bournemouth. They have appointment slots for both children and adults.
  • Both centres are very busy and walk-in availability is very limited – please make an appointment using the national booking service.
  • You can also get your vaccination at many pharmacies. There are now more than 30 sites in Dorset offering vaccinations.

It’s busy – keep trying, be patient and be kind

  • We continue to see very high demand for boosters as the number of eligible people increases.
  • We know that some people have had difficulties booking their booster appointments.
  • We’re working extremely hard to increase availability so please be patient. You will still have good levels of immunity if you receive the booster a little later.
  • Our centres are very busy so please keep trying as appointments are being added all the time. If a local venue isn’t showing on the system, it may be full – please check again later as appointments are being added all the time.
  • Our staff are working extremely hard to support local communities – please show them the respect and kindness they deserve.

How you can help

  • There’s still time for people to get a first or second dose of the vaccine. Do encourage those who have not had theirs to come forward.
  • We need more vaccinators – if people have appropriate experience, we offer training, and we’d love to get you on board the largest NHS vaccination. programme in history. Find out more and apply today on the Join Our Dorset website.
  • We’d like to thank everyone for supporting the continuing roll out – staff, volunteers, and the public. Thank you.
  • The vaccine provides good protection against serious illness, but please continue to do what you can to help reduce transmission of COVID-19.
  • Taking regular rapid tests to check you’re not infectious, particularly before meeting others or attending gatherings.
  • Making sure you have plenty of ventilation, by meeting outdoors or keeping doors and windows open.
  • Wear a face covering in indoor and crowded spaces.
  • Wash your hands regularly.


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