People aged 70 and over who have not yet been vaccinated against Covid and who 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.
To ensure everyone is offered the vaccine, people aged 70 and over 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 www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination.
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.
Many who have not yet booked an appointment are already receiving follow up letters and phone calls this week to encourage them to take up the offer of a jab.
GP teams have been asked to contact their clinically extremely vulnerable patients, who have been asked to shield, to ensure they have been offered the vaccine.
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.
People in priority groups who are given a vaccination appointment by both their local GP team and the National Booking Service should cancel the one they do not want so the slot can be used by someone else.
Health and social care workers, who are also among the top four priority groups for vaccination, should speak to their employer about arranging their jab.
NHS England is supporting general practice with an extra £10 for every vaccination given to someone who is housebound.
In under ten weeks, the health service has in England delivered 11 million vaccinations.
Dr Nikki Kanani, medical director for primary care at NHS England and practising GP, said: “The NHS vaccination programme, the biggest in health service history, is off to a strong start with every eligible care home 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.
“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 this virus.”
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.
The UK seven day rolling rate of positive cases up to February 3 was 208.6 per 100,000 people. In Thanet the rate is below the UK average and finally below the 200 mark at 187 per 100,000 – a significant reduction from rates on December 20 which stood at 639 per 100,000.
People vaccinated in the UK up to and including 7 February
Second dose: 512,581