Over-70s yet to get Covid-19 vaccine offered chance to book appointment

Richmondshire’s over-70s yet to receive their Covid-19 vaccine jab are being offered the chance to book an appointment with a new national booking service.

Local GPs surgery staff are continuing to contact those in the four priority groups to offer an appointment at the vaccine hub at Tennants in Leyburn.

However, over-70s yet to receive their jab can, for the first time, ask for an appointment themselves through the national booking service.

Officials say these appointments will take place at a larger vaccination centre or a pharmacy that provides Covid-19 vaccinations.

A spokesperson for North Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group said: “People aged 70 and over who have not yet been vaccinated against Covid and who would like to be are now being asked to contact the NHS to arrange a jab.

“Until now the NHS has asked people to wait until they are contacted to help ensure that those who are most vulnerable are protected first – and that remains the case for most people.

“The easiest way to arrange a vaccination is through the national booking service which can be accessed at www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination.

“The system allows patients to choose a time slot and location that suits them.

“Anyone unable to book online can call 119 free of charge, anytime between 7am and 11pm seven days a week.”

NHS officials have stressed that the public should not call their local GP surgery or medical practice to try to book an appointment.

Central Dales Practice, which has surgeries in Aysgarth and Hawes, urged its patients today not to contact them to book a jab.

It added: “This blocks the lines and prevents unwell patients contacting us and prevents our clinicians calling patients back.

“We are contacting patients eligible for their vaccination this week and we are hopeful that within the next week or so, all of our over 70s will have been invited for their vaccination.

“We are entirely dependent upon what vaccines are sent to us locally, we can only offer what we are given. As soon as we are allocated vaccines we are actively booking patients in for theirs.

“Please note that there is no need to travel off for your vaccination, we will get you booked in locally.”

The practice stressed that vaccines were not being wasted.

It added: “Each practice provides the vaccination centre with a list of patients they can call and invite in should anyone not attend their appointment.

“This ensures there is no waste of vaccines. Anyone that attends without an appointment will not be vaccinated so this would be a wasted journey.”