70 or older and haven’t got a COVID-19 vaccination appointment? Book now!
People aged 70 and over, those who are clinically extremely vulnerable and front line health and social care staff who have not yet had their first COVID vaccination, are being urged to contact the NHS now to arrange a jab.
The call is part of a drive to ensure that everyone who is most at risk from COVID-19 can get protected as quickly as possible.
Figures released on Thursday 11 February show that over a quarter of a million people in the top priority groups across Hertfordshire and west Essex have now had their first dose of the vaccine. This includes 168,317 (88.6%) of people aged 70 and over and 100,095 under 70s, including health and care workers and patients who are clinically extremely vulnerable. Local NHS services want to make sure that everyone in one of the top four priority groups has been given the opportunity to be vaccinated by the middle of this month.
Dr Jane Halpin, Chief Executive of the Hertfordshire and West Essex Clinical Commissioning Groups said: “Thanks to the tireless efforts of my NHS colleagues, partner organisations and thousands of wonderful volunteers, our local NHS vaccination programme is making excellent progress. Every care home for older people has received a visit and many thousands of people have been vaccinated, either at home if they are housebound, or at one of the many large vaccination centres, pharmacies and GP-run sites across Hertfordshire and west Essex.
“Until now, we have asked people to wait to be contacted. We are now urging everyone aged 70 and over who hasn’t yet had a vaccination to come forward and contact the NHS to book in their jab. If you have grandparents, relatives or friends over 70, please encourage them to book an appointment as soon as possible. We are very keen to ensure that nobody misses out. The vaccine is safe, simple, and will offer you and those around you crucial protection against this virus.”
The easiest way to arrange a vaccination if you are in a priority group is through the online national booking service at www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination. There are plenty of appointments available locally at both large centres and some community pharmacies in the coming days. By going online, you can choose a time slot and location that suits you. You don’t have to know your NHS number to book an appointment, but if you want to, you can now find your NHS number online at www.nhs.uk/find-nhs-number/
Anyone unable to book online can call 119 free of charge, anytime between 7am and 11pm, seven days a week. If you would prefer to be vaccinated at a local GP-run centre, contact your GP practice to ask about available appointments.
Many patients who have not yet booked an appointment are already receiving follow up letters and phone calls to encourage them to take up the offer of a jab.
GP teams are also contacting their clinically extremely vulnerable patients, who have been asked to shield, to ensure they have been offered the vaccine. Anyone who has been advised to ‘shield’, should receive an invitation to have their jab from their local family doctor as well as an invitation from the national booking service.
People who are housebound and cannot get to a vaccination centre should contact their GP practice and arrangements will be made for them to have a vaccination at home. The majority of housebound people have now been vaccinated across Hertfordshire and west Essex and the aim is to reach all remaining patients in this group in the coming days.
Anyone in Hertfordshire who has booked their COVID-19 vaccination but is unable to make their own transport arrangements can get help through a service that has been put in place by the East of England Ambulance Service, Hertfordshire County Council and local NHS clinical commissioning groups. People can call 0300 790 6254 (Monday-Saturday, 9am-5pm) to ask for support to get to their appointment. However, people should only call this number once they have made their vaccination appointment. The service operates seven days a week.
Notes to editors:
The photograph shows Kamala, a Hertfordshire resident, having her first COVID-19 vaccination last week.
For answers to frequently asked questions about COVID-19 vaccinations and the vaccine roll-out across Hertfordshire and west Essex, go to the Healthier Future website, https://healthierfuture.org.uk/covid
Vaccinations are only available by appointment.
National figures on the COVID vaccination roll out can be found Statistics » COVID-19 Vaccinations (england.nhs.uk)
Remember that the NHS will never ask you to pay for a vaccination and will never ask for your bank account details.