PEOPLE in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight are urged to keep their Covid vaccination appointment or rearrange in advance wherever possible after figures have shown more than 3,750 slots were missed in the second week of October alone.
This includes appointments that were booked through the National Booking Service but not attended between October 10 and 16 – more than 500 lost appointments a day.
The real figure is likely to be far higher as this does not include missed appointment slots at GP practices across the region, which record the data individually.
Teams across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight have been working hard since early September to ensure those eligible are able to get vaccinated against both COVID and flu this winter, protecting the most vulnerable in society against serious illness.
The autumn booster is being delivered through GP practices, walk-in clinics, community pharmacies, hospital hubs and other bookable locations. From shopping centres to mosques, rugby clubs and fire stations, the booster is being delivered in convenient venues across the county. However, with demand high, a missed appointment can mean others facing a longer wait to get vaccinated, so the NHS is asking people to rearrange if they are unable to attend.
Dr Matt Nisbet, GP and Clinical Lead for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Covid-19 Vaccination Programme, said: “We’ve had such a great response to the Covid vaccine programme so far and I can’t thank residents enough. Getting vaccinated if your best form of defence should you catch Covid and we know health services and communities are already seeing an increase in numbers locally.”
“If you are unable to attend your appointment, please cancel it so someone else has the chance to take up that slot. Anyone can be unwell from Covid but people with long term health conditions, those working in health and social care, and people aged 75 years and over are more at risk from serious illness and its important they have the opportunity to get vaccinated.”
The autumn booster helps raise your levels of defence against the virus, which can reduce over time. You may be offered it alongside your flu vaccine if eligible and it is safe to have both at the same time.
To cancel or move a Covid-19 vaccine appointment booked through the National Booking Service, readers can visit their official website or call 119.
If you need to cancel or move an appointment booked via a pharmacy or your GP practice, readers are asked to please contact them directly.
Anyone eligible who has not yet taken up the offer of a first, second or booster dose is strongly encouraged to do so as soon as possible to ensure they are as protected as possible.
The offer of a COVID-19 jab is not time-limited so anyone invited can have the vaccine – even if they have previously declined and changed their mind.
In line with JCVI advice, those eligible for an autumn Covid booster this year include:
- residents in a care home for older adults and staff working in care homes for older adults
- frontline health and social care workers;
- all adults aged 50 years and over;
- anyone aged five to 49 years in a clinical risk group, as set out in the Green Book;
- anyone aged five to 49 years who are household contacts of people with immunosuppression;
- anyone aged 16 to 49 years who are carers, as set out in the Green Book.