People in the next phase of the vaccination programme will be contacted and offered an appointment at a local vaccination centre in Devon in coming weeks when their age group becomes eligible.
The vaccination programme is entering phase two as it moves to vaccinate groups 10-12, which cover people aged 18-49. Currently, people aged 42 and over are eligible for a vaccine with other age groups due to be invited in coming weeks.
More sites in Devon are set to offer appointments via the National Booking Service’s website and phoneline from early May as part of this next phase.
In mid-April, the NHS achieved the Government’s ambition of offering a vaccination to everyone in the top nine priority cohorts, as set out by the independent national Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, which included everyone over 50, frontline health and social care workers, residents and staff of care homes and people who are clinically vulnerable. It is estimated that taken together, these nine groups account for 99% of all deaths from Covid-19.
In Devon, vaccinations have been offered via one of three main routes: Sites run by groups of GPs, sites where bookings are managed via the National Booking Service (including the large vaccination centres, like Home Park in Plymouth, and pharmacies), and hospital hubs.
As part of the next phase, GP practices were asked to confirm if they were able to support the vaccination of cohorts 10-12. Some opted to continue, while in other areas, people aged 18-49 will now be offered their vaccination via the National Booking Service.
As part of phase two, 13 of the existing 20 GP-led sites across the county are offering vaccinations to people aged 18-49 as they become eligible, while all 20 sites will continue to offer second doses to their patients in the top nine JCVI priority groups (people aged 50 and over, and high risk groups).
Dr Paul Johnson, a GP and clinical chair at Devon Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “GPs and their teams have made a major contribution to delivering the Covid vaccination programme, while also caring for patients’ routine, urgent and Covid care. In Devon, two in three people in the adult population have now received their first vaccine dose and we thank everyone involved for their hard work and dedication in helping make this happen.
“Alternative arrangements are being put in place in areas where GP-led sites are not continuing to vaccinate in phase two to ensure there is continued local access to the Covid-19 vaccine for their patients aged 18-49. This includes alternative local providers, such as local pharmacies, hospital hubs and larger vaccination centres.
“I would like to thank GP colleagues for continuing to balance the delivery of vaccinations with wider general practice-led service provision.”
People who are in groups 1-9 (over-50s and at-risk groups) of the JCVI priority list who would like a first dose and who are patients of practices that are not delivering vaccinations to 18-49-year-olds can use the National Booking Service to make an appointment. If they are not able to book an appointment via the service, they should contact their practice to make arrangements for a vaccination.
People aged 18-49 whose practices are continuing to offer the vaccination can either use the National Booking Service to book an appointment when they become eligible, or wait to be contacted by their practice.
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