More than 130,000 coronavirus vaccines have so far been given in our region and now those in the four top priority groups still not not vaccinated can book their own appointment.
People living in Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire who are eligible for a coronavirus vaccine, but have yet to be contacted or have been contacted but not yet confirmed an appointment, can now book a vaccination appointment online or over the phone.
From today, any person who falls into one of the top four priority groups, which includes all people over the age of 70, health and care workers and the clinically extremely vulnerable, will be able to book a vaccine appointment without needing to have first received an invitation to do so.
Appointments can be arranged through the national booking system, which is available online at http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19 or on the phone by calling 119.
Alternatively, people can contact their GP practice for an appointment at a community-based vaccination site.
People choosing the national booking system will have the option of making an appointment at the vaccine clinics based at the large vaccination centres at Salisbury City Hall or Bath Racecourse, or at selected local pharmacies which are now providing the vaccine.
The three pharmacies providing this service are Avicenna Pharmacy in Swindon, the Pharmacy in Ludgershall and Shaunaks Pharmacy in Westbury.
Other vaccination sites in neighbouring counties, which may be more convenient for people living near county boundaries, are also available.
By allowing eligible people to be proactive with their appointment booking, it is hoped any local residents who have yet to be contacted with details of how to get the vaccine can receive the jab without waiting longer than necessary.
Gill May, Director of Nursing and Quality, said: “Our vaccination programme has so far been a great success, with more than 130,000 vaccines given out since the beginning of December, which includes all care home residents and more than 93 per cent of people aged over 80.
“By giving those people who fall into one of the top four priority groups the option to book their appointment without having first received a letter, we hope to shorten the time it takes for those most vulnerable to get protected.
“We are well on track to meet the government’s target of vaccinating all people in the top four priority groups by the middle of February, and this latest news will only help us in reaching where we need to be.”
Any person already booked in to receive the vaccine at a GP-led clinic or one of our other vaccination sites is advised to keep their existing appointment, rather than arranging a new one online or over the phone, in order to ensure that no vaccines go to waste.
More information about the local vaccination programme, including a list of all current vaccine sites, can be found online at http://www.bswccg.nhs.uk.