Covid-19 vaccine: Hertfordshire and West Essex NHS chief calls on 21,000 'missing' over-70s to book jab appointments
More than 20,000 elderly people in Hertfordshire and west Essex have yet to receive their first Covid vaccination.
People aged 70 and over, those who are clinically extremely vulnerable and front-line health and social care staff who have not had the jab are being urged to contact the NHS now.
Figures released last Thursday (Feb 11) show that more than a quarter of a million people in the top priority groups across Herts and west Essex have had their first doses.
This includes 168,317 aged 70 and over – 88.6% of that cohort – and 100,095 under-70s, comprising health and social care workers and patients who are clinically extremely vulnerable.
But this means 21,657 people aged 70 and over have slipped through the net for one reason or another.
Dr Jane Halpin, chief executive of the Hertfordshire and West Essex Clinical Commissioning Groups, said: "Thanks to the tireless efforts of my NHS colleagues, partner organisations and thousands of wonderful volunteers, our local NHS vaccination programme is making excellent progress.
"Every care home for older people has received a visit and many thousands of people have been vaccinated, either at home if they are housebound or at one of the many large vaccination centres, pharmacies and GP-run sites across Hertfordshire and west Essex.
"Until now, we have asked people to wait to be contacted. We are now urging everyone aged 70 and over who hasn't yet had a vaccination to come forward and contact the NHS to book in their jab.
"If you have grandparents, relatives or friends over 70, please encourage them to book an appointment as soon as possible. We are very keen to ensure that nobody misses out.
"The vaccine is safe, simple and will offer you and those around you crucial protection against this virus."
To arrange a vaccination at a centre such as the Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust site at Avanti Meadows Primary School at St Michael's Hurst in Bishop's Stortford, see www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination. Anyone unable to book online can call 119 free any time between 7am and 11pm, seven days a week.
Those who prefer to be vaccinated at a GP-run centre, such as the clinic run by the Stort Valley and Villages Primary Care Network at the football club in Bishop's Stortford, should contact their doctor.