“You don’t need to go to the mainland for your Covid booster” — that was the message from a frustrated Islander this week.
The man told the Local Democracy Reporting Service he had been offered an appointment in Christchurch, Dorset, by the 119 NHS service.
The issue has occurred multiple times with residents being offered mainland appointments with each wave of the Covid vaccination rollout, but before the vaccination centre has been established on the Island.
Solent NHS Trust, which is running the Riverside vaccination centre, said it was finalising plans to offer the booster at the Newport location in the current month but people could book for their jab through a GP-led service.
With a third booster vaccination now being offered to those on the Island, the resident who spoke to LDRS told of the trouble they have had to book their jab in.
The West Wight resident said when they received their text invitation to get the booster jab, the 119 service could only offer them an appointment in Christchurch.
They said that was ‘rubbish’ and phoned their local health centre who was able to book them only a couple of days later.
They said they wanted to warn people not to be fooled by the national booking service and encouraged people to get in touch with their local GPs so as to not face any unnecessary expenses or travel.
The Solent NHS Trust spokesperson said people are directly invited by the national NHS service to book their vaccination and once the dates and times of the booster sessions are confirmed for Newport, these will be updated on the national booking website so they can then book a slot on the Island.
Alternatively, the GP-led service is also providing slots at the vaccination hubs across the Island.
Anyone aged over 50, people living and working in care homes for the elderly, and frontline health and social care workers as well as those who are clinically vulnerable is eligible for the booster.
Latest figures from NHS England show nearly 211,000 Covid vaccinations have been dished out on the Island, with more than 109,100 Islanders double jabbed.
Data is not yet available on the uptake of the booster vaccines on the Island.