The vaccine rollout in West Yorkshire is continuing apace, with latest figures (5 March) showing that 683,801 people have now been vaccinated. This is almost a third of all adults in the region and reflects the huge efforts of the NHS, local authorities and voluntary and community organisations to encourage people to have their vaccinations.
All people in the first four priority groups have been offered vaccinations and the NHS is currently contacting people in the next three cohorts to book their appointments. GP practices are focusing on cohort 6, people aged 16 and over with underlying health conditions and carers of elderly or disabled people. This now also includes all adults who have a learning disability. People who receive Carer’s Allowance are able to book directly through the national booking service and the vaccination programme is working with carers’ organisations in each area to make arrangements for any other carers who are not registered with their practice to receive vaccinations. Practices are also working to make sure that everyone who has been added to the Shielded Patients List and has not already received a first vaccination is offered an appointment as quickly as possible.
This is one of the largest cohorts, with over three times as many people as in the over 65s cohort, so it will take practices some time reach everyone. Alongside this, letters from the national booking service have now been sent to people in cohorts 5 and 7, (over 65s and over
60s) inviting them to make their appointments. Anyone who is aged 60 and over is also able to book directly via the national booking service without waiting for a letter.
The rollout is set for a busy couple of months, as the NHS is aiming to offer everyone in the first nine priority groups (all those over 50) their first vaccinations by the middle of April. People in the early cohorts will also be getting their second doses of the vaccine, in line with the
guidance that these should be given 11-12 weeks after the first dose. It is very important that people have their second dose to get the maximum protection possible against Covid-19 and there will be a national and local campaign to remind people of the importance of having their second vaccination.
The Joint Committee for Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI) has recently announced that the after the first nine groups have been vaccinated, the rollout will continue in order of age. This means people will be vaccinated in the following order: people aged 40 to 49 years, people aged 30 to 39 years and people aged 18 to 29 years. The aim is to have completed first vaccinations for all adults by the end of July.