People aged 45-49 are now eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine. Appointments on the National Booking Service are filling quickly, but new slots are being released regularly for Home Park in Plymouth, as well as selected pharmacies across the county. People are being asked to keep checking online if they are unable to book a slot locally straight away. Home Park has lots of appointments available this week and are offering extended opening hours, until 10pm this Thursday 22 April.
GP practices are also continuing to offer the vaccine and will be in touch with patients directly with more details. People are being asked not to phone their GP practice for vaccine appointments unless they have been invited to.
Dr Paul Johnson, a GP and Chair of NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "We are delighted to be able to start offering coronavirus vaccinations to the next cohort of people - those aged 45 and above. People in this group can book an appointment via the National Booking Service or by calling 119.
“New appointments are being regularly added so please keep checking back on the national website over the next few days.
“Please do not contact your GP practice about an appointment - they will contact you when they are able to book you in."
654,261 people in Devon had their first vaccination up to 11 April. 144,000 people in the county have had their second vaccination, meaning one in seven adults locally is fully vaccinated.
People in the cohorts 1-9 - those aged 50 and over, frontline health and care workers and people who are clinically vulnerable – have now been offered the vaccine. Anyone aged over 50 or in another eligible group, who hasn’t already had the vaccination is still being advised to make an appointment through the National Booking Service online, by calling 119 or by contacting their GP practice.
These groups make up 99% of people who have died with Covid-19 during the pandemic. By vaccinating them first, we are helping ensure the most vulnerable people are protected from the virus.
Analysis by Public Health England suggests the Covid-19 vaccination programme saved 10,000 lives between December and March.
The vaccine rollout has been boosted by the first delivery of the Moderna vaccine in Devon. Moderna is the third Covid-19 vaccination to be offered by the NHS and uses technology similar to the Pfizer vaccine.
Eligible people aged under 30, with no underlying health conditions will be offered the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, where available.
The NHS is reassuring people that the Astra Zeneca vaccine is safe, effective and has already saved thousands of lives. The UK’s independent regulator, the MHRA, says the benefits of the vaccine far outweigh the risks for most adults.
The MHRA estimates the overall risk of blood clots for the Astra Zeneca vaccine is 4 in every million people who receive the jab and advises that people should have their second dose unless they experienced blood clots.
Second doses normally take place 11-12 weeks after the first vaccination. Anyone who has not had their second vaccination after 12 weeks should contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01752 398836.