No need to wait for booster invitation - clarification after Covid jab confusion

Doctore Parikh with the Pfizer vaccine Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Almost 100 walk-in clinics are taking place over the coming days, the ICS has said - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Suffolk residents have been told they do not need to wait for an invitation to get their booster jab, as questions are asked about appointment availability. 

Some of those eligible for their booster jab have said they've faced unclear instructions surrounding whether or not they needed to be invited by their GP.

Others have flagged issues with the contact number and vaccination centre details given. 

Andrew Allen, a 74-year-old from Halesworth, said: "I spent an hour being passed around, following all the recommendations and I still haven't been able to book an appointment. I got machine after machine, press option one, two, three, sometimes I got cut off - it's not right. 

"I called my surgery about it at the start of October but was told I'd be contacted and now they've said they'll have supply in November. 

"I'm travelling abroad this week and I'd have been going a lot safer if I'd been able to find where these jabs are being given. 

"I wasn't brought up with computers so I don't want to be asked to go online for more details, that's not me. I just want to know where I've got to go to get my jab." 

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A spokesman the Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System (SNEE ICS) said: "For those who don't use computers we've heavily promoted the local helpline number, which is 0344 257 3961." 

But Terry and Lynne Ward said they'd had issues with the SNEE phone number, saying it was "continuously engaged".  

The couple were full of praise for the previous vaccine rollout, calling it "excellent" but said the booster campaign was a "marked contrast". 

The SNEE ICS spokesman added: "We urge everyone eligible to come forward urgently. 

"You don't need to wait until you are invited, and you can attend one of the many walk-in clinics being offered by community pharmacies and vaccination centres. You can see the list of walk-in clinics at www.sneevaccine.org.uk or you can book via our local number. 

"If you have been contacted by the NHS you can also book via the national NHS website at www.nhs.uk or by calling 119. 

"There are almost 100 walk-in clinics taking place over the coming days, including at the weekend, where you simply turn up to get the booster vaccination.  We are incredibly grateful to the volunteers and staff for the great work they are doing at these events."

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