​People over 70 & clinically extremely vulnerable encouraged to get their COVID vaccination

Posted 11th February 2021

People aged 70 and over who have not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19 and who would like to be are being asked to contact the national NHS booking service or their GP to arrange a jab.

GPs have also been asked to contact any patients they have who are classed as ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ to COVID-19, regardless of their age. This includes many people on active cancer treatment.

If you are over 70 and haven’t yet been vaccinated, you can book your appointment at www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination. The system allows patients to choose a time slot and location that suits them.

Anyone unable to book online can call 119 free of charge, any time between 7am and 11pm seven days a week.

If a suitable and convenient slot is not available, people aged over 70 can also call their GP practice.

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable, your GP practice should be in touch. GP teams have been asked to contact their clinically extremely vulnerable patients, who have been asked to shield, to ensure they have been offered the vaccine.

Anyone who received a letter in 2021 asking them to shield, should also receive an invitation from their local family doctor as well as an invitation from the national booking service inviting them for a jab.

People in priority groups who are given a vaccination appointment by both their local GP team and the National Booking Service should cancel the one they do not want so the slot can be used by someone else.

Dr Sheena Khanduri, Medical Director of The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Getting vaccinated is one of the best ways of protecting yourself against COVID-19. It significantly reduces the chances of getting COVID-19 and of becoming seriously unwell if you do catch the virus. We would encourage people with cancer to get vaccinated unless specifically advised otherwise by their medical team.

“If you are currently receiving systemic anti-cancer therapy such as chemotherapy or immunotherapy – or if you are feeling unwell or experiencing any side-effects from treatment – then speak to your clinical team about when it’s best to have your vaccine. If you are having radiotherapy only, then it is generally all right for you to receive your vaccine on the same day. More information is available on the COVID vaccine page of our website.”

Dr Nikki Kanani, medical director for primary care at NHS England and practising GP, said: “The NHS vaccination programme, the biggest in health service history, is off to a strong start with every eligible care home receiving a visit and millions more people being vaccinated at one of over 1,500 centres across the country thanks to the tireless efforts of my colleagues.

“But if you are aged 70 and over, and haven’t yet received your vaccine, please come forward and make an appointment as soon as you can. The vaccine is safe, simple, and will offer you and those around you crucial protection against this virus.”

More about the vaccination process:

  • Appointments are staggered to allow for social distancing and people are urged not to turn up early to avoid queues.
  • People who do not know their NHS number can still book an appointment through the national system but will only be given an appointment if they are in the top four priority groups.
  • Vaccines are currently being administered at over 1,500 sites across the country, from mosques and museums to rugby grounds and cathedrals.
  • Sites have been chosen to ensure that the vast majority of the population live within 10 miles of at least one vaccination service.
  • The NHS made history when Maggie Keenan became the first person in the world to be protected against coronavirus, outside of a clinical trial, when she received the Pfizer vaccine at Coventry Hospital on the 8 December 2020.
  • The NHS was also the first health system to deliver the new Oxford AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine when Brian Pinker, 82, was jabbed on January 4 2021.