Shropshire Star

NHS regional medical director urges people to book Covid-19 jab without delay

People in the Midlands who are eligbile for the Covid vaccination are being urged to book an appointment without delay.


Dr Nigel Sturrock, regional medical director at NHS England and NHS Improvement in the Midlands, has issued the plea after new figures showed more than 5.7 million people in the region have now received their first dose.

NHS staff are continuing to vaccinate people within the guidance set out by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) on priority groups – and anyone aged 34 and can now book their jab through the national booking system.

More than 3.2 million people have already been fully vaccinated in the Midlands. More than 4.9 million first and second doses have been achieved in the West Midlands.

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At 6.31 am on December 8, 2020, in University Hospital in Coventry, Margaret Keenan, who is now 91 years old, became the first person in the world to receive a Covid-19 jab as part of a mass vaccination programme.

Since then, the vaccination programme has been rolled-out to GP surgeries, pharmacies, hospitals and large vaccination centres, as well as a number of more unusual partnerships that have helped to accelerate the vaccination programme in the Midlands. Football arenas, racecourses, museums, cricket grounds, arts centres, cinemas and hotels are just some of the locations which have been converted into vaccination sites, alongside hospitals and general practices.

Dr Sturrock, said: “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.

"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.

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

Last week, the Government and the JCVI announced that second dose appointments will be brought forward from 12 to eight weeks for those aged 50 and over who have yet to received their second vaccine.

When invited, people will be able to book at one of the vaccination centres, pharmacy or general practice sites 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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