Some of the oldest members of Generation X are now being called up to receive their Covid-19 vaccine in Derbyshire, as the vaccination programme expands to include people aged 56 or over.
The programme has been rolling out rapidly, with people eligible based on age and clinical vulnerability to Covid-19. As of March 1, more than 95% of people aged over 65 had been vaccinated, with people aged over 60 also being vaccinated.
This has enabled the expansion of the age eligibility to people aged 56 and above, meaning the start of a new generation of people is now eligible. Generation X is generally considered to begin with people born in 1965.
The National Booking Service has sent letters to people aged 56-59, and those are expected to be followed by letters to people aged 55 later this week. Some of these people may also receive text messages, in an effort to make booking easier.
NHS Derby and Derbyshire CCG Executive Medical Director Dr Steve Lloyd: “NHS staff, volunteers and other partners across Derbyshire have been doing a brilliant job, despite the challenges of running the biggest and most ambitious vaccination programme in history.
“At the same time as dealing with high levels of Covid-19 hospital patients, they have already vaccinated more than 40% of adults and over 95% of the over-65s. Now we are starting to vaccinate people aged over 56, which is another important step.
“To the small proportion of people who have been invited but not come forward yet, I would urge you to do so this week. Vaccines are the best weapon we have in the fight against coronavirus, and local services are going to great lengths to ensure that local people can get this protection in a safe and convenient place.
“Some people are now receiving their second doses, and we ask that everyone doing so return to the same place they had their first dose, because vaccines are despatched to vaccination sites based on this happening. This includes health and social care workers; please help us to keep this complex programme running as smoothly as possible.”
“And to the wider public, NHS staff need you to continue to play your part too. That means unless you are in the groups being invited now, please don’t contact the NHS to seek a vaccine, we will contact you when it is the right time; when we do contact you, please attend your booked appointments at exactly the time you’re asked to; and whether you have had your vaccine or not, please continue to follow all the guidance in place to control the virus and save lives.”
Vaccine supply continues to be the main limiting factor for the availability of appointments, so people should be patient when trying to book their vaccination or while waiting for their age group to become eligible. The NHS expects supplies to increase during the next two weeks.
People who have received a letter can log on to the national booking service at www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination and choose from 107 large-scale vaccination centres or 195 pharmacy-led sites.
Anyone unable to book online can call 119 free of charge, anytime between 7am and 11pm seven days a week.
Although having your NHS number to hand will reduce the booking time, knowing it is not required to get a slot for a jab, as anyone in the top six priority groups identified by the JCVI can book their appointment online or by phone.