Over one million people have already been invited to book a jab and almost 1.2 million letters were due to land on doorsteps over the weekend asking people to log on to the national booking service on the NHS website with another 1.2 million due to arrive this week. Anyone unable to book online can call 119 free of charge, anytime between 7am and 11pm seven days a week. Those who receive a letter can choose from more than 100 large scale vaccination centres or almost 200 pharmacy services.
In the next phase GP led vaccination sites will focus initially on the clinically vulnerable from cohort 6 because of the relationship between general practice and those with long term conditions, and continuity of care. Should somebody aged 65 to 69 want to wait to be called by their local GP vaccination service or who have already received the jab they do not need to respond to their invitation. The drive to jab them comes after the NHS vaccinated more than 12 million people in the first four priority groups, which included those aged 70 and over, care home residents and staff, the extremely clinically vulnerable and NHS staff, in a matter of weeks.
We welcome the progress of vaccination so that people in England who are clinically vulnerable, such as those with moderate to severe kidney disease (stages 3a, 3b & 4) and some carers, will now be offered their vaccination against Covid-19. People with late stage chronic kidney disease (stage 5), on dialysis, with transplants have in most cases already been invited for vaccination and can book an appointment directly. However the government must use official NHS channels & community & faith leaders to communicate to at risk individuals in these groups in a timely & clear manner.
For the rest of the UK:
- Wales' First Minister Mark Drakeford has said they have begun contacting some over-50s.
- Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said she expects many in the 65-69 age group to have had their first jab by the middle of this month after the vast majority of older people were vaccinated.
- In Northern Ireland, the Department of Health is offering everyone over 65 a vaccine by the end of February as it works its way through priority groups four & five, although it is expected to help the UK meet its overall target.
For more information on vaccination, Covid-19 & kidney disease see our Covid-19 page. We review this information daily, & update it several times each week.
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