Senior NHS vaccinators in Gloucestershire are urging people to act quickly and book an appointment as soon as local GP services make contact to invite them for their COVID-19 vaccination.

Rapid progress is being made by local GP services in the county in vaccinating those residents in current priority groups, with the large majority taking up appointments and receiving their first dose.

The NHS locally is keen to make maximum use of current vaccine supplies and ensure that as many eligible people as possible take up the offer without delay.

Local vaccination teams are calling on anyone who has been invited for a jab but has not yet received one to book an appointment as soon as they can.

Sarah Gallagher, Clinical lead at the COVID-19 community vaccination centre in Cheltenham, said:

“We want to make sure that people in the current priority groups receive their vaccinations as soon as possible, whether that’s booking in for a first dose or coming back for their second.

Our vaccination teams are pulling out all the stops, giving thousands of vaccinations every week, but we need people to book their appointment as soon as it’s offered so that we can continue to make progress and extend the invite to others as quickly as possible.

Every dose given is another person on the road to being protected from COVID-19, so we would strongly urge those who haven’t taken up the offer yet to do so.”

In addition to encouraging people to book in for a first dose, vaccination teams are also highlighting the importance of attending appointments to receive their second vaccination, which is needed to ensure maximum protection from COVID-19.

Sarah added:

“The first dose of the COVID-19 vaccines offers a good level of protection against COVID-19, but for long-lasting and better protection a second vaccination is needed. So, we are urging everyone to come forward for their second jab when the time comes; your vaccine has been allocated and will be waiting for you at the same centre where you received your first dose.”

In Gloucestershire, the bulk of community vaccinations are being delivered through a network of 10 GP led Primary Care Network vaccination services. These centres are not on the national booking system.

If they have not already been in contact, local GP services will be in touch soon offering first dose appointment slots locally to people in the latest priority age group (30-39) at one of the ten centres across the county. Residents are politely asked not to call their GP surgery for their first dose of vaccine – the surgery will be in contact.

Should they choose to, local residents have the option to use the national booking website: www.nhs.uk/covidvaccination or phone 119 to book a vaccination appointments at other available services.

Through the national booking website or phone number, residents can choose to make an appointment at several pharmacy locations in the county – subject to availability.

Some out of county services/centres may be available to certain residents in priority groups (based on where they live) through the national booking system.