Top doctor says do not delay getting coronavirus jab

The North West’s top doctor today urged everyone who is entitled to a Covid-19 jab to come forward, as new figures show the NHS vaccination programme racked up record numbers of jabs last week.

Thursday, 25th March 2021, 12:53 pm

Regional medical director Dr David Levy called on anyone who qualifies for a jab but has not yet received one to book an appointment in the next few days before slots dry up.

The call came after hard-working NHS staff delivered a record-breaking weekend of vaccinations, including the region’s best ever day on Saturday, when 84,000 jabs were given.

Four in five people in the first nine priority groups have now received at least one dose since the NHS vaccination programme - the biggest in health service history - kicked off a little over 100 days ago.

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Second doses of the vaccine are being given now too

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Fewer appointments will be available for first doses from next week as the bulk of available supplies are used to vaccinate people with a second jab.

The proportion of people aged 50 to 54 having their first jab nationally has shot up over the past week, from 42 per cent to seven in 10, with the NHS now putting a laser focus on inviting everybody in the most at-risk cohorts to get protected ahead of April 15 and more constrained supply of available doses next month.

People with a learning disability or living with an underlying health condition like serious asthma, who are yet to get their jab, are being urged to book before March 29, with some GPs calling each of their unvaccinated patients personally to encourage uptake.

Doctors, nurses and thousands of other staff, supported by volunteers and others, are delivering the life-saving jab at more than 1,600 sites ranging from cathedrals, mosques and temples to racecourses, sports stadiums, cinemas and museums.

The NHS is inviting those eligible for a jab by letter and text, with GPs also calling some patients.

Text invitations appear as an alert from ‘NHSvaccine’ and letters include a web link to click and reserve an appointment at one of more than 300 large-scale vaccination centres or pharmacies across England.

Anybody aged 50 or over can book themselves in for a first dose before March 29 using the national booking system online.

People aged 18 and over who are clinically vulnerable can also book a jab this month.

GPs will continue contacting eligible patients and vaccinating them throughout April with a first dose.

More than 24m people have been vaccinated since the launch of the programme in December.

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