Mr Hancock took to a Downing Street briefing on Monday to announce people can now contact the NHS for their vaccine. Previously, Brits were urged to wait their turn by awaiting correspondence by the NHS inviting them to come forward and be vaccinated. But now, that seems to have all changed as the Government is urging people to make the first move and book their own vaccine slot.
People over the age of 70 who haven’t been offered a Covid vaccine yet are being encouraged to contact the NHS themselves for an appointment.
The Health Service in England has switched up its messaging from ‘we will contact you’ to ‘contact us’.
But this new advice, at the moment, only applies to those aged 70 and over and living in the UK.
The news comes as the Government is just days away from confirming whether it has completed its target of vaccinating 15million by mid-February.
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Those who want to go ahead and book their vaccine slot can do so via the NHS here.
If you want to book the vaccine but can’t get online for whatever reason, appointments are also available through 111.
In the case a convenient slot isn’t available for patients, you can call your GP practice.
Health and social care workers, who are also in the top priority slots, should speak to their employer about booking their own vaccine.
GP practices around the country have been asked to personally reach out to their clinically extremely vulnerable groups.
The NHS has also urged people who have been given two vaccine slots to cancel one so it can be occupied by someone else.
This could happen in the case a patient’s GP surgery has booked them in for an appointment as well as the NHS.
Dr Nikki Kanani, medical director for primary care at NHS England and a practicing GP, said: “The NHS vaccination programme, the biggest in the health service history, is off to a strong start with every eligible care home workers 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.
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“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 the virus.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Thanks to the huge effort of the NHS, volunteers and local authorities we have vaccinated an incredible 12million vulnerable people so far – including around nine in 10 of all over-70s.
“We are on track to meet our goal of offering everyone in the top four priority groups a jab.
“So far, we have said please wait until the NHS contacts you. I now urge everyone aged 70 and over who hasn’t yet had a vaccination to come forward and contact the NHS to book in their jab.
“And if you have grandparents, relatives and friends over 70, please encourage them to book an appointment as soon as possible, so they can be protected against this awful virus.
“Vaccines are the way out of this pandemic and, by ensuring you and your loved ones get booked in for a jab, the NHS can give those most at-risk the protection they need as we continue to fight this disease together.”
More than 12.4million people have now had their first dose of the vaccine, with millions more having received their second dose too.