How to find out when you'll get your Covid vaccine – DON'T call your GP for jab, pleads top doc
GPs have urged patients to not call their local practices for the coronavirus jab as they are being "inundated with requests".
Brits up and down the country are currently being called upon to have their coronavirus jabs at GP practices, pharmacies and mass vaccination centres.
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Two jabs are currently being rolled out across the country, the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine and the Pfizer/BioNTech offering.
One GP this morning has asked Brits to be patient and reassured many that they will get the jab.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme, Dame Clare Gerada, former chair of the Royal College of GPs and a GP in South East London said most people will be on the vaccine list.
She said: "Please don’t ring your GP, that’s the last thing to do."
Asked whether patients over the age of 90, who still haven't had their jab should refrain from calling their GP she said they should still wait to be contacted.
Dr Gerada added: "What will happen, as soon as that area has a batch, the first thing they will do, they will pull off those [on the list] who are at risk, they will pull off the over 80s and they will call them.
"If you ring your GP, they are inundated any way at the moment, please don’t ring your GP, it's not run through the GP practice, it’s run through central places in the primary care network.
"I would say, be patient, it’s highly unlikely that people aren’t on a GP list, because they have to be, if you go onto the computer system as soon as you put their names in you get a little alert which says they are in the highest tier – so as soon as that area has its vaccine they will be called."
Her comments come after two Today Programme callers expressed their concerns that their older relatives had not yet received their jabs.
One listener from Shropshire said her father is 91 next month and her mother is 88 and have still not received any information about when they will be vaccinated.
She added that when her parents hear that people who are 75 have had the vaccine in other parts of the country – they get very upset and feel as though "they have been forgotten about".
The listener from Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire said her mother is 87 and has not had any invitation for vaccination.
WHEN WILL YOU GET YOUR JAB?
But as doctors plead with patients to not call their surgeries how can you find out when you will get your vaccine?
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has set out a list of who will be vaccinated first and who is a priority.
The NHS states that the jab is currently being given to:
- people aged 80 and over
- some people aged 70 and over
- some people who are clinically extremely vulnerable
- people who live or work in care homes
- health and social care workers
You will receive a letter in the post when it's your turn, and this will give you information on what vaccine site you will need to attend.
This could be a mass vaccination centre, you GP surgery or a local pharmacy.
Other people who have received the jab, such as health care practitioners or people who work in hospitals, may not receive a letter and may be jabbed through programmes at their place of work.
The NHS states: "The NHS will let you know when it's your turn to have the vaccine. It's important not to contact the NHS for a vaccination before then.
"Letters are being sent out every week – you might not get your letter straight away."
You can also use vaccine calculators which are able to give you an idea as to how long you will have to wait for your jab.
This is based on your age, occupation and whether or not you have any underlying health conditions.
HOW THE SYSTEM WORKS
Dr Gerada explained how the system works and why some areas have managed to vaccinate more patients than others.
She said the overall distribution from the central control is based on demographics of deprivations.
This she said is largely focused on the over 80s and that we are "still in the early days" of vaccinating patients.
Dr Gerada added: "The way it’s done locally is that as soon as we are alerted to the fact that we are going to get a batch of vaccines, we would do a search on our computer systems and every single person, bar a few, will be registered with us so we can easily search for the over 80s.
"We will pull that list down and that list will go to the local hub who will ring the individuals on that list and ask them to go for a vaccine."
She added that some areas are aheadof others and said her surgery in South East London has vaccinated 50 per cent of its over 80s.
She added: "Clearly some people don’t want a vaccine or can’t have them, then we will offer them to the next group down which are the over 75s."
She again urged people who are concerned that they haven't yet had the jab to "please wait".
Dr Gerada added: "You won’t have been forgotten you will be on the list."
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