NHS urges people in current COVID-19 vaccination priority groups: ‘Don’t delay – take up the offer now’

The NHS in Gloucestershire is this week urging people aged 50 years and over to take up their appointment offer of a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine without delay.

Local GP services have been contacting patients by text or letter with reminders going out in recent days.  

The call also applies to residents in the other top priority groups, including people with underlying health conditions and carers.  

Huge progress is being made by GP led Primary Care Network vaccination centres and associated mobile services in the county in vaccinating those residents in priority groups 1-9, with the large majority taking up appointments and receiving their first dose.

Now, the NHS locally is keen to make maximum use of current vaccine supplies and ensure that as many eligible people as possible take up the offer.

Clinical Chair of NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, Dr Andy Seymour said:

“We want to make sure that as many people as possible in these priority groups receive their vaccinations as soon as possible.

Because of the fantastic work of local vaccination teams, we are now in a position where the proportion of residents in the top priority groups who have not yet had their first dose is relatively small, but all lives are important and we would strongly urge those who haven’t taken up the offer to do so.”

Professor Steve Hams, Chief Nurse at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Senior Responsible Officer for the Gloucestershire COVID-19 Vaccination programme said:

“We want to do all we can to reassure and encourage everyone in priority groups 1 to 9 to take up this offer to help keep them, their communities and Gloucestershire safe. Our message is simple – don’t delay, act today.”

Many people in the current priority groups will have also received a national letter from the NHS giving them the option to use the national booking website: www.nhs.uk/covidvaccination or phone 119 to book a vaccination appointment at other available services.  

Through the national booking website or phone number, residents can choose to make an appointment at one of three pharmacy locations in the county – Boots in Gloucester, Badhams Pharmacy in Bishops Cleeve and Cainscross Pharmacy, Stroud, subject to availability.

Some out of county services e.g. the large vaccination centre in Bristol, may be available to certain residents in priority groups (based on where they live) through the national booking system. 

Additional Notes

The GP led Primary Care Network centres and services in the county (and local pharmacy sites that have offered appointments through the national booking website and line), will also be carrying out, and scheduling, appointments for 2nd doses with stocks available to support this.

The NHS is politely requesting that residents in the next priority age groups i.e. people under the age of 50 without underlying health conditions, do not call their GP surgeries or other NHS services at this time. Local GP services will contact them when it is their turn to be vaccinated.