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Advice around second dose COVID-19 vaccinations in Norfolk and Waveney as appointments are brought forward

People in Norfolk and Waveney are being urged not to contact local GP services to rebook appointments for their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine after it was announced that some jabs would be brought forward.

Following national guidance and in line with all areas of the country, people aged 50 and over and the clinically vulnerable are having their second doses brought forward. This is so people at greater risk of getting seriously ill due to coronavirus can get maximum protection earlier.

The standard window between your first and second dose should be on or around 12 weeks, but for people over the age of 50 and those in cohorts 1-9, this is being brought forward to eight weeks.

If you are already over the eight-week window since your first dose, please do not worry – you will be sent a text or contacted by an NHS organisation to change your appointment for an earlier date, shortly.

If you booked your appointment originally via the national booking system, you should have received a text to bring your second dose vaccination forward. Simply cancel your original appointment and rebook your second. Go to nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or call 119 (free), between 7am and 11pm seven days a week.

If you had your vaccine at a local GP surgery, a GP-led site, hospital hub or at a walk-in centre please wait to be contacted by the local NHS, do not contact your GP practice. Our GP practices continue to be very busy and we need to keep telephones clear for patients needing an appointment with a GP or nurse for other health issues and urgent care. Please be patient. No one will get left behind and our teams are doing a fantastic job to keep the vaccination programme moving and get people booked in. 

The focus will be on contacting those who need to have their appointment brought forward and to have their second appointment as soon as possible. For everyone under the age of 50 and not part of cohorts 1-9, your second dose will take place on or around 12 weeks.

A single dose of the vaccine provides a good level of protection from COVID-19, but the second dose is important to ensure lasting protection. The second ‘booster’ dose is still safe and effective even if given after the 12-week interval. 

It comes as the NHS COVID-19 vaccination programme, the biggest in health service history, continues its rollout to people in their thirties, opening to people aged 36 and 37 from today.

More than a million more people will be eligible for a life-saving COVID-19 jab via nhs.uk. Texts inviting people to book a vaccination will be sent to those aged 37 today (Tuesday) and to 36 year olds tomorrow (Wednesday).

The texts will allow people to access the national booking service at the touch of a button and arrange an appointment at an NHS vaccination centre, pharmacy or GP vaccination site.

NHS National Medical Director Professor Stephen Powis, said: “Bookings for the fastest and most successful NHS vaccination programme in history continue to surge with more than 930,000 appointments made in a matter of days since opening up to 38 and 39 year olds.

“With well over 30 million first doses of vital protection against coronavirus delivered just six months into the NHS vaccination drive, the NHS is able to open up to 36 and 37 year olds as the programme continues at pace.

“On the advice of the government and Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), people aged 50 and over and the clinically vulnerable are having their second doses brought forward to counter the spread of the Indian variant.

“Nobody needs to contact the NHS. You will be told how to rebook if you need to.

“Getting vaccinated is the most important step we can take to protect ourselves, our families and our communities against COVID-19, so when it is your turn to get your first or second dose please do so.”

When invited, people will be able to book at one of the vaccination centre, pharmacy or general practice sites across the country that are available through the national booking service.

Text invitations appear as an alert from ‘NHSvaccine’, including a web link to the NHS website to reserve an appointment.

People who cannot go online can call the service on 119 instead to book their jab.

People 39 and under who are eligible and pregnant women will be offered the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine in line with recently updated JCVI guidance.

Notes to Editors

 

 

COVID-19 vaccination status

From 17 May 2021, people in England who have had a full course of the COVID-19 vaccine will be able to demonstrate their COVID-19 vaccination status for international travel. A full course is currently two doses of any approved vaccine. People can prove their vaccination status: 

  • in the NHS App
  • through the NHS website (from 17 May 2021)
  • by ringing 119 to get a letter

 

Public urged to continue playing their part

Millions of people are already benefiting from protection from the virus and this has contributed to the dramatic falls in infections, hospitalisations and deaths from the virus we are now seeing.

But NHS staff are still having to work hard to deliver the largest vaccination drive in our history, at the same time as providing care for everyone who needs it.

So we need the public to continue to play their part too:

  • unless you have been invited before, please don’t contact the NHS to seek a vaccine, we will contact you when it is the right time;
  • please attend your booked appointments at exactly the time you’re asked to, and make sure you come back for your second dose;
  • and whether you have had your vaccine or not, please continue to follow all the guidance in place to control the virus and save lives.

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