Young people across England between the ages of 18 and 29 years will continue to receive text messages over the coming days from the national NHS, inviting them to book their COVID-19 vaccination through the *national booking system (NBS) – website and phone number.

In Gloucestershire, the bulk of community vaccinations are being delivered through a network of 10 GP led Primary Care Network (PCN) vaccination centres across the county. 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 this age range at one of these 10 centres. Residents are politely asked not to call their GP surgery for their first dose of vaccine – the surgery will be in contact.

More than two-thirds of 30-39-year olds locally have now had a first dose, as NHS vaccination teams continue to work extremely hard to vaccinate the remaining priority groups as quickly as supplies allow.

At the same time, following the national announcement that people over the age of 40 should have their second dose brought forward from 12 to 8 weeks, the NHS in Gloucestershire is reassuring residents that they do not need to do anything. The NHS will be in touch with those who need their appointment brought forward.

More than 730,000 vaccinations have been given in the county so far, including more than 330,000 second doses.

Local vaccination teams have been offering a variety of appointment slots, including some evening and weekends. They will continue to look at further options for vaccination services e.g. potential for more flexible sessions with ‘drop in’ opportunities.

Dr Andy Seymour, Clinical Chair of NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, said:

“Our vaccination teams continue to work incredibly hard and are making good progress in offering first doses to people in the 18 to 29 priority group, in addition to delivering second doses. I’d like to reassure residents that they will be able to access a vaccination in Gloucestershire if they wish to.

My message to anyone who may have changed their mind about taking up the offer of a vaccine is that it’s not too late, residents of any age are still welcome to book an appointment at their local vaccination centre. All you need to do is follow the instructions in your original invite.

I would continue to urge people to take up the offer of a jab as soon as it’s offered; the vaccination is our best chance of protecting ourselves from the most severe symptoms of COVID-19 or spreading the virus to someone who may be more vulnerable. Having a vaccination is another step closer to getting life back to normal.”

*Should they choose to, local residents between 18 to 29 years old also have the option to use the national booking website: www.nhs.uk/covidvaccination or phone 119 to book a vaccination appointment at other available services.

Through the national booking website or phone number, residents can choose to make an appointment at a pharmacy location in the county – Boots in Gloucester, Badhams Pharmacy in Bishops Cleeve, Cainscross Pharmacy in Stroud and Cirencester or Day Lewis and Allied Pharmacy in the Forest of Dean, 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.

Local people can get the latest information about the community vaccination programme and read the FAQs on the NHS Gloucestershire COVID-19 website.