Northamptonshire's over-50s urged to book Covid jabs before slots dry up next week
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Northamptonshire's vaccination team has echoed England's top doctor urging any remaining over-50s to book in for their Covid-19 jab ahead of a vaccine slowdown from Monday.
NHS national medical director Professor Stephen Powis called on anyone who qualifies for a jab but has not yet received one, to book an appointment in the next few days before slots dry up.
Teams will focus on delivering second jabs during April after an NHS letter warned the UK faces a "significant reduction" in coronavirus vaccine supplies from March 29, for an estimated four-week period.
Latest figures released today showed m,ore than 300,000 first-dose jabs were delivered in Northamptonshire up to March 21 — just under half the target population .
Another 24,000 second doses have been given, including 13,000 in the last week.
A spokesperson for the Northamptonshire COVID-19 Vaccination Programme insisted: “There is enough vaccine available for everyone who’s currently eligible to get their jab.
"That’s people aged 50 and over, people with health conditions that put them at higher risk from coronavirus, adult carers and front-line health and social care workers.
"If you are in one of these groups and have not yet received your first dose, please contact your GP practice, call 119 or visit www.nhs.uk/covidvaccination.”
Four out of five people in the first nine priority groups have now received at least one dose since the NHS vaccination programme, the biggest in health service history, kicked off a little over 100 days ago.
NHS medical director, Professor Stephen Powis, said: “It is a testament to the careful planning and sheer hard work of staff that the NHS vaccination programme is continuing to protect people against coronavirus at a record pace.
“I was thrilled to get my first dose earlier this month, it was quick, painless and safe and it feels great knowing I’ve got protection against COVID-19 so if you are eligible do not delay, book a jab.”
Fewer appointments will be available for first doses from next week as the bulk of available supplies are used to fully vaccinate people with a second jab.
The proportion of people aged between 50 and 54 having their first jab has shot up over the past week from 42% to seven in ten.
People with a learning disability or living with an underlying health condition like serious asthma, who are yet to get their jab are being urged to book before 29 March, with some GPs calling each of their unvaccinated patients personally to encourage uptake.
Invitations for jabs are being sent by letter and text message from the NHS with GPs also calling some patients.
Text invitations appear as an alert from ‘NHSvaccine’ and letters include a web link to click and reserve an appointment at Northamptonshire's mass vaccination centres at Moulton Park, local hubs or pharmacies.
Anybody aged 50 or over can book themselves in for a first dose before 29 March online using the national booking system.
People aged 18 and over, who are clinically vulnerable, should also book themselves in for a jab this month.
GPs will continue contacting eligible patients and vaccinating them throughout April with a first dose.