High vaccine take-up in county as nearly all over 70s have had first coronavirus jab, new figures show

Nearly everyone over the age of 70 in the county has now had their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, new figures show.

There has been frustration over fewer people being offered Covid vaccination appointments at Telford International Centre in recent days
There has been frustration over fewer people being offered Covid vaccination appointments at Telford International Centre in recent days

Latest data from NHS England, which runs to February 14, reveals 56,829 people aged over 70 in Shropshire have had their first jab, accounting for 96.9 per cent.

In Telford and Wrekin, the uptake has been even higher at 98.1 per cent – it accounts for 21,488 people in the over 70s category.

It comes as the vaccination programme is rolling out to the next cohort of patients and is a welcome boost following criticism in recent days that fewer vaccinations have been taking place at Telford International Centre.

Questions have also been raised over the use of capacity at other venues in the county.

Local health bosses have announced that unpaid carers aged 18-64 can now book a vaccination appointment via the national booking system without receiving a letter.

To be eligible, they need to be in receipt of carer’s allowance.

Those who do not receive the allowance, or are 16 or 17-years-old and a carer, are urged to make sure they are registered with their council’s Carers Support Centre.

Shropshire’s five MPs had joined forces to call for the Covid-19 vaccine to be extended to younger people, saying medics are running out of people to vaccinate.

They wrote to vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi calling for the programme to be broadened.

Telford MP Lucy Allan says patients aged 16 to 64 in an 'at-risk' group (group six) are now being invited for vaccinations at Telford International Centre and the New Bucks Head stadium in Wellington.

She says some people had been struggling to get an appointment when calling 119, after being told to wait until their GP has a slot.

There has been frustration over fewer people being offered Covid vaccination appointments at Telford International Centre in recent days

“It’s deeply frustrating for everyone involved that the vaccination roll-out has seemingly ground to a halt over the last few weeks," she said.

"There seems to be bureaucratic hurdles that no one in charge wants to tackle.

"It’s quite wrong that group six people in Telford cannot get an appointment and are told to wait despite the fact we have so much spare capacity and invites have been issued.”

By the end of last Thursday, more than 148,500 doses of the Covid-19 jab had been put in arms across the county.

It places the area ahead of much of the rest of the Midlands in the roll-out.

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