The NHS on Isle of Wight is urging people to wait for their COVID-19 vaccination invitation letter to come through the post, rather than calling their doctors surgery.
The COVID vaccination programme is now well underway on the Isle of Wight and the NHS is delighted that people have already been able to receive the jab.
4 GP-led vaccination centres and a hospital hub have already been set up to deliver the vaccine and a sixth hub is soon to open at The Riverside Centre, in Newport.
Despite the phenomenal effort to stand up clinics so quickly and begin vaccinating people, the NHS is aware of frustrations people are feeling as they are unsure of when they might be invited for their jab.
Dr Michele Legg, GP and clinical chair of NHS Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group, said:
“We understand that many people are very keen to be vaccinated as soon as is possible, and in time a vaccine will be available for everyone.
“However, at this point we are working our way through the priority groups, as identified by the government scientific advisors – people in nursing homes and nursing home staff, the over 80s, and some frontline health and care staff.
“While we cannot give people vaccination dates in advance, please be reassured that the NHS will be in touch with everyone who is eligible for the vaccination, as soon as we can.
“Regrettably, we have to ask people to be patient – we are not holding reserve stocks of the vaccine and so cannot simply add in extra appointments – but everyone will be invited in due course. It will take time to protect everybody, but we will be in touch with everyone as soon as we possibly can.
“We absolutely understand that any wait is frustrating, but calling or messaging the practice will not get you an appointment more quickly, and will take our staff away from their other work.”
Island Echo reported yesterday how there are significant delays with the Royal Mail postal service.
While you wait for your invitation, Islanders are being reminded to do the things they can do.
Dr Legg added:
“Please make sure we have some up-to-date contact details for you – especially a mobile phone number if you have one. It makes it quicker and easier for us to contact you. Also make sure you are registered with a GP practice.
“Again you don’t need to call us with this information – you can update online through the practice website.
“While you wait for the invitation, please do remember to do the basics, to keep yourselves and others safe – comply with lockdown rules, wash your hands, cover your face, and give other people space. And actually this still stands even after you have had either the first or the second doses of the vaccination.
“The island has done tremendously well so far in keeping to these rules, and I know we are all desperate to go back to our normal lives. With the delivery of the vaccination programme scaling up as each day passes, and by abiding by government guidance, we can all reach that goal quicker.”
The prioritisation order of vaccinations being delivered has been set nationally by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and not a decision that is made locally. At the moment the vaccine is being administered first to those most at risk, including:
- people aged 80
- people who live or work in care homes
- health care workers
Those aged over 70 are set to receive their vaccine by mid-February.