NHS top doctor in the North West urges: book an NHS Covid jab without delay

The NHS in the North West has today urged anyone currently eligible for a covid vaccination, to book an appointment without delay.

Calls to get jabbed come alongside new figures showing more than 51 million people across England have received a first dose of the vaccine since the NHS made history by giving Maggie Keenan the first Pfizer jab outside of a clinical trial in Coventry Hospital in December.

NHS staff are continuing to jab people within the guidance set out by the JCVI on priority groups and anyone aged 32, or who are 32 on 1 July 2021, can now book their jab through the national booking system.

More than 6.5 million vaccine doses have already been given in the North West. Four million people in the North West have received their first dose of protection and 2.4 million people are fully vaccinated.

In addition to a range of large vaccination centres and local GP-led and pharmacy-led vaccine services, pop up clinics and vaccine buses have been set up across the region to ensure convenient, local access to the vaccine.

Regional Medical Director (North West), Dr David Levysaid, “We are all aware of the new Covid variant which is now spreading in the North West.  We all need to continue to follow national guidelines to reduce the risk of spreading this virus, especially as we are now meeting indoors. Space, and good ventilation is important. The other important action is to get vaccinated if you are eligible.

“The biggest and most successful NHS vaccination programme continues to go from strength to strength with over 51 million vaccinations delivered including more than 6.5 million in the North West.

“Vaccines are safe, effective and it’s never too late to get your jab so if you’re eligible – do not delay booking in for your appointment if you are eligible.

“Getting vaccinated is the most important step we can take to protect ourselves, our families and our communities against COVID-19, so when it is your turn to get your first or second dose please do so.

“Following updated advice from the government and Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), people aged 50 and over and the clinically vulnerable are having their second doses brought forward to counter the spread of the new variant so the NHS will let you know if you need to rebook.”

Kidney transplant patient Rashida Karbhari, from Blackburn, Lancashire, has described her ‘sense of relief’ when she received her second dose of the vaccine at Blackburn Cathedral Crypt vaccination centre.

She said: “Patients like me who are vulnerable and have a long term illness, I’d advise them, don’t be scared, it’s just like a normal prick in the arm.

“The NHS staff, they’re working so hard to get all these vaccines out so everybody’s safe and we can all get back to a normal life.”

Last week, the Government and the JCVI announced that second dose appointments will be brought forward from 12 to 8 weeks for those aged 50 and over who have yet to received theirs. Nobody needs to contact the NHS.

People who should have their second dose brought forward do not need to contact the NHS. The NHS will let them know when they can rebook.

The NHS made history when Maggie Keenan became the first person in the world to be protected against coronavirus outside of a clinical trial when she received the Pfizer vaccine at Coventry Hospital on 8 December.

When invited, people will be able to book at one of the vaccination centre, pharmacy or general practice site across the country available through the national booking service.

Text invitations appear as an alert from ‘NHSvaccine’, including a web link to the NHS website to reserve an appointment.

People who cannot go online can call the service on 119 instead to book their jab. People 39 and under who are eligible and pregnant women will be offered the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine in line with recently updated JCVI guidance.

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