The NHS is asking Islanders to wait until they are contacted with an appointment for a Covid vaccination and urging them not to call their GP surgery for information.
Dr Michele Legg, GP and clinical chair of NHS Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We understand that many people are very keen to be vaccinated as soon as is possible, and in time a vaccine will be available for everyone. However, at this point we are working our way through the priority groups – people in nursing homes and nursing home staff, the over-80s, and some frontline health and care staff.
“While we cannot give people vaccination dates in advance, please be reassured that the NHS will be in touch with everyone who is eligible for the vaccination as soon as we can. Regrettably, we have to ask people to be patient – we are not holding reserve stocks of the vaccine and so cannot simply add in extra appointments – but everyone will be invited in due course.
“We absolutely understand that any wait is frustrating but calling or messaging the practice will not get you an appointment more quickly and will take our staff away from their other work.”
In the meantime, Islanders are reminded to do the things they can do. Dr Legg added: “Please make sure we have up-to-date contact details for you – especially a mobile phone number if you have one. It makes it quicker and easier for us to contact you. Also make sure you are registered with a GP practice. Again, you don’t need to call us with this information – you can update online through the practice website.
“While you wait for the invitation, please do remember to do the basics, to keep yourselves and others safe – comply with lockdown rules, wash your hands, cover your face, and give other people space. And actually, this still stands even after you have had either the first or the second doses of the vaccination.
“The Island has done tremendously well so far in keeping to these rules, and I know we are all desperate to go back to our normal lives. With the delivery of the vaccination programme scaling up as each day passes, and by abiding by government guidance, we can all reach that goal quicker.”
The prioritisation of vaccinations has been set nationally by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation and is not a local decision.
Four GP-led vaccination centres and a hospital hub have been set up to deliver the vaccine on the Island and a sixth hub is soon to open at the Riverside Centre in Newport.NHS