NHS bosses have spoken out after some Burnham-On-Sea residents say local teenagers have been receiving invitations for Covid vaccinations ahead of pensioners in the area.
Burnham-On-Sea.com has been contacted by several readers during recent days concerned about the ‘unclear’ priority order for getting the vaccine.
One reader says: “My daughter is fit and well, aged 18. She was called to go for her jab Tuesday this week. We were sceptical and a little worried as she gave her date of birth and our address over the phone. It was a withheld call too. So we got on the internet and have now seen many people stating similar. We’d rather the jab goes to people in a higher risk group prior to us receiving it.”
Another reader adds: “Many under-40s, and lots in their 30s, have received phone calls to go in for their vaccine with no health issues. Some thought is was scam and have phoned Highbridge surgery to check. Some at Burnham surgery are still waiting for their invites who are clinically vulnerable and over 70.”
Lisa Pyrke, spokeswoman for NHS Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group, responded to Burnham-On-Sea.com: “The NHS vaccination programme is now expanding to include both priority groups 5 and 6 as identified by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). People will be contacted in a variety of ways which may include letters from the NHS for those who are aged between 65 and 69, or direct contact from local GP primary care networks by phone, letter or text message.”
“People in group five, who are aged between 65 and 69 will receive a letter from the NHS over the next few days, inviting them to book their COVID-19 jab by calling 119, or going online here. We are inviting people in this group to book an appointment as quickly as possible at a large vaccination centre (at Taunton Racecourse or the Bath & West Showground) or a pharmacy-led hub in the county, situated in Taunton, Yeovil or Bruton.”
“Group six is a wide category, for people who are aged between 16 and 64, who have been identified with specified underlying health conditions as described by the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). “
“GP practices are reviewing patient records, and using search criteria to help them do this, and contacting those who fall into this category to book an appointment at a GP-led community hub.”
“Over the weekend, GP practices began contacting people identified in this way and we would encourage people to attend all vaccination appointments when offered.”
The spokesperson adds: “We are vaccinating in line with the guidelines and prioritisation set by the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations.”
“Our GP-led primary care network hubs are now inviting those in priority group six to come forward for vaccination at a GP-led hub. People in this group will be aged between 16 and 65 with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality.”
“Our GP teams are working through their lists of patients to identify those in this group and invite them to book an appointment as quickly as they can.”
“If people receive an invitation for vaccination from their local GP-led hub, we strongly encourage them to take up the offer.”