Health leaders call for patience as COVID-19 vaccine rollout accelerates
Health leaders in North Yorkshire and York are urging people to be patient as the phased rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations accelerates.
The NHS is currently offering the COVID vaccine to people most at risk from coronavirus. There is no need for patients to get in touch with their GP surgery – their surgery will contact individuals when it’s their turn.
The vaccine is being offered in some hospitals and increasing numbers of local vaccination centres in North Yorkshire and York run by GP surgeries.
Vaccinations are being delivered according to priority groups identified by the Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
The jab is currently being rolled out to all those aged 80 and over, along with frontline health and care workers and care home residents.
People aged 75 and over and then all those who are 70 and over, together with clinically extremely vulnerable patients will follow.
The Government has set a target for people in these first four priority groups to be given the first dose of either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine by 15 February.
Both vaccines have been approved for use in the UK following rigorous clinical trials.
Amanda Bloor, NHS North Yorkshire CCG Accountable Officer and chair of the North Yorkshire and York group of NHS and local government Chief Executives, said: “It’s heartening to see patients’ enthusiasm to have the COVID vaccine, but it’s important those at most risk of falling seriously ill and dying from coronavirus are vaccinated first.
“Your GP surgery is following the necessary guidance and will be in touch with you when it’s your turn to be vaccinated – please do not contact them.”
NHS North Yorkshire CCG Clinical Chair, Dr Charles Parker said: “GP practices are currently taking a high volume of calls about the vaccine, which means people calling their surgery for routine appointments are having to wait much longer for their call to be answered.
“Please, don’t call your surgery about the vaccine; they will get in touch with you at the appropriate time and you will not miss out.”
Dr Nigel Wells, Clinical Chair of NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), added: “The vaccine is really great news and a cause for optimism but there is still a long way to go. We can’t afford to be complacent; this is a going to be a huge task and we would like to urge local people to bear with us and to be patient.
“The best thing we can all do to protect ourselves, our families and our communities at this time is to keep following the guidance and sticking to the lockdown rules.”
The COVID-19 vaccination programme is the largest vaccination programme in the NHS’ 72-year history.
As more supplies become available and the rollout accelerates, vaccination services, which are based on Primary Care Network groupings, will be delivering the jab from all types of venues, from GP practices and health centres, to sports halls and community venues.
When it is the right time for you to receive your vaccination, you will receive an invitation to come forward. This may be via the phone, or through a letter either from your GP or the national booking system.