Liz Buchanan BVSc MRCVS
Hello - and thank you for being concerned about your local community cat. The trusted CATS protection website contains a helpful blog called What Are Feral Cats which you may find interesting, and an information sheet: https://www.cats.org.uk/help-and-advice/lost-found-and-feral-cats/feral-cat
By law, all pet cats in England will need to be microchipped (and therefore registered to a responsible owner) by 10 June 2024. An exception has been made with regard to feral cats. The definition of a feral cat, however, implies that the cat is not dependent on humans, cannot be approached i.e. is effectively living wild. This doesn't sound to be the case with the individual.
A 'community cat' then, looking at the guidelines and rules that are coming in, may well need to be microchipped to a designated owner or representative in the very near future; it may be something to bring up in your community. Regarding vaccination - assuming that this is the cats' first vaccination course, there is usually a second one to be done soon (a small no. of weeks) after the first, and in order to guarantee safety from disease, the vet will usually recommend a minimum amount of time for the vaccine to work before the cat is released again into the public domain (this may change from vaccine company to vaccine company). You might take the view, 'Well, Tiddles has been going out unvaccinated up until now - the chances of them encountering cat-flu / leukaemia etc in the next few weeks is one we're going to have to take' - if so, we recommend that you talk this over with your vet / community first.
I hope that something here is helpful.