People across Hampshire and Isle of Wight who are unable to attend or no longer need their COVID-19 appointment are asked to cancel to free up slots for the lifesaving jab.
Almost 2,000 slots were missed at the mass vaccination centres at St James’s Hospital, Portsmouth, Oakley Road, Southampton and Riverside on the Isle of Wight in the last week alone.
The real figure is likely to be far higher as this does not include missed COVID-19 appointment slots at GP practices across Hampshire and Isle of Wight, which record the data individually.
The NHS is asking eligible people to come forward as soon as they are invited to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and wherever possible is encouraging those who have booked appointments to attend.
However if anyone has made an appointment that they are then unable to attend for any reason, they are asked to cancel or change their booking as soon as possible to free up the slot for other people awaiting their COVID-19 vaccine.
Dr Matt Nisbet, GP Partner and Clinical Lead of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, said: “Dr Matt Nisbet, GP and Clinical Lead of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, said: “We know that eligible people are keen to get vaccinated as soon as possible. We are working hard to scale up capacity right across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight but particularly in the areas of greatest need, based on evidence, to help ensure our communities are protected against the virus.
“To ensure we can offer the vaccine to as many people as possible, it is really important than anyone with a booked appointment who no longer needs it for any reason cancels or moves their slot.”
Angela Anderson, Deputy Chief Nurse at Solent NHS Trust, said: “We have had an incredible response from the public to get their vaccinations ever since we first opened the mass vaccination centres across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight in January.
“However, almost 2,000 appointments at our centres were missed in the last week alone. These unwanted slots could have been offered to other eligible people if they had been cancelled. Please help others by cancelling your COVID-19 vaccination appointment if you do not plan to attend or if you have had an earlier appointment elsewhere.”
More than 3.26m COVID-19 jabs have been delivered across Hampshire and Isle of Wight since the biggest vaccination programme in the history of the NHS launched a year ago.
In-line with national guidance, eligible people will continue to be invited in order of vulnerability.
The offer of a COVID-19 jab is not time-limited so anyone invited can have the vaccine – even if they have previously declined and changed their mind.
To cancel or move a COVID-19 vaccine appointment booked through National Booking Service, please visit the website or call 119 (open between 7am and 11pm daily).
If you need to cancel or move an appointment booked via a pharmacy or your GP practice, please contact them directly.
Notes to Editors
Eligible people can also access their COVID-19 vaccination in the following ways:
- Using a local GP service: GP practices are working together across the county to vaccinate as many people as possible. Residents may be contacted by a different surgery to the one they usually go to. These sites are delivering booster doses and third doses for people who are immunosuppressed.
- At a vaccination centre: In our area we have centres at St James's Hospital in Portsmouth, Riverside on the Isle of Wight and Oakley Road in Southampton. Eligible people should receive a letter advising them of this route to book an appointment. These sites are offering appointments for booster doses and first doses for children aged 12 – 17. These sites are also offering walk-in options for first and second doses.
- Some local pharmacies: NHS England and Improvement has arranged for some pharmacies in Hampshire and Isle of Wight to provide the booster vaccination on an appointment basis. People can book an appointment at a pharmacy via the National Booking System online or by calling 119.