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Over 70 and not had the COVID-19 vaccine? Contact the NHS now!

Release Date: 10 February 2021

People aged 70 and over who have not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19 and would like to be, are now being asked to contact the NHS to arrange a jab.

Until now the NHS has asked people to wait until they are contacted to help ensure that those who are most vulnerable are protected first  and that remains the case for most people. 

However, to ensure absolutely everyone is offered the vaccine, people aged 70 and over, and those who are considered extremely clinically vulnerable, can now contact the NHS so they can be vaccinated by the middle of this month.  

The easiest way to arrange a vaccination is through the national booking service, which can be accessed at NHS website. 

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, anytime between 7am and 11pm, seven days a week.  

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

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. If they have not, they are invited to come forward too.  

Cllr Piers Allen, Chair of the Adult Social Services, Health and Housing Services Committee, and Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board, from Richmond Council, said: 

"Thanks to the tireless efforts of the NHS and their army of volunteers, we know that thousands of local people have already received the vaccines. We want to make sure that all those most at risk of COVID-19 have the jab. 

"If you are aged 70 and over or considered shielded by the NHS, 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.

"As a reminder to all those who have been vaccinated, please remember that it takes about three weeks for your own immune system to respond to the vaccine, and for you to be protected against the most serious effects of COVID-19 disease.

"While clinical and public health scientists are working hard to determine the risk of those who are vaccinated still being able to transmit disease,  we have to assume vaccination doesn’t stop spread of infection and therefore ensure vaccinated individuals follow the same public health guidance of hands, face, space, and limiting social mixing as they did before. And if you have symptoms of COVID-19 – please remember to get a test."

The call is part of a drive to ensure that everyone in an eligible group has the chance to get protected.

The national booking system allows people to arrange a jab at a Vaccination Centre or pharmacy service.

GP teams are following up with any of their patients they are yet to vaccinate.

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.

Notes for editors

If you are a journalist and would like further information about this press release, contact Elinor Firth on 020 8487 5159.

Reference: P065/21

Updated: 24 March 2021