NHS clarifies position amid vaccine confusion over appointments outside South Holland

The leader of South Holland District Council says no elderly or vulnerable residents should have to go outside of the district for the COVID-19 vaccine after reports people were being asked to go as far as Bedford for the jabs.

Lord Gary Porter and other local politicians including Angela Newton say they’ve spoken to NHS Lincolnshire Care Commissioning Group (CCG) after being contacted by the relatives of those offered the vaccine outside of the district.

But the NHS say you do not have to take up an appointment and can wait until you’re called up to one that’s closer to you.

It said that many South Holland residents will be offered a vaccine at the new site being set up in Boston Arena as it’s said to have four times the capacity of the Springfields site.

Coun Angela Newton said her husband had been among those invited to attend Bedford.

In response a CCG statement said: “In preparation for the opening of Lincolnshire’s first large vaccination centre at Boston’s Princess Royal Sports Arena, letters have begun to be sent to people over 80 who live within 45 minutes driving distance, inviting them to book their vaccination through the national booking service, (online or by telephone).

“The NHS in Lincolnshire can confirm that attending this large vaccination centre is an option and people who are over 80 who already have, or wish to wait for an appointment at their local vaccination site, will still be invited to by Lincolnshire’s NHS as their turn comes.

“We are delighted that the large vaccination centre at Boston PRSA will be going live on Monday. This is part of the national network of large vaccination sites and the only way to attend is by booking through the national booking system outlined in the letter.

“This morning there were some problems with the national booking website, in that it briefly did not show Boston PRSA as a vaccination centre.

“This issue was quickly resolved and we are pleased that the centre is now available on the booking website and people are booking in. Vaccination appointments are currently booked up to seven days in advance.

“Therefore, people over 80 years old, living within a 45 minute of Boston who are yet to be vaccinated have two options to get their vaccine. They can either: Secure their vaccination by booking a day and time at Boston up to seven days in advance via the national website or telephone number.

“Or they can wait to be called by the NHS and be invited to their local vaccination sites.”

The NHS are requesting that you do not contact them about NHS vaccines and should wait until you are contacted.

Lord Porter tweeted after receiving the above statement: “Anyone in @SHollandDC area who is asked to travel an unreasonable distance for the jab (already had Bedford and Norwich today) please email me at my @SHollandDC email. Please also say in the email you give me permission to forward your email to CCG.

“None of our elderly or vulnerable resident need to travel outside of @SHollandDC unless it is easier for them the CCG are confident they have the capacity here to meet our need.”

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