As the government seeks to increase the numbers taking up booster or third jabs, this week two issues have become apparent.
National booking system – boosters
The national booking system has changed to allow over the 50s, most health care professionals and certain categories of vulnerable people to arrange – via the NHS booking site or 119 – their Covid vaccination appointment up to a month before they are due to have the jab. Previously it was not allowing bookings before the patient was eligible.
The NHS hopes that this will speed up the booster rollout ahead of a “challenging” winter. The update means that people can pre-book an appointment and then report for jab as soon as they they become eligible (normally 182 days after the second jab). The change does not allow people to have jabs before their eligible date.
At the Rye centre we prefer that patients book their appointment as it allows us to plan.
The government has admitted that it is “reviewing the implications and requirements of boosters for international travel certification” and “looking at whether and how booster vaccinations could be included in the NHS Covid pass for travel”. At present the NHS Covid pass app only provides for the display of details of two jabs.
Staff at 119 advise that the inability of the NHS app to handle the booster jab is a flaw and is only just being tackled. They remind that most countries only require two jabs for travellers to be “fully vaccinated”.
We are talking to the Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS England, with many others, to press for a solution.
For any local enquiries and for opening hours please contact through @ryepfizer. We also take enquiries at the Rye centre in the former Tilling Green school, TN31 7BE during opening hours.
Image Credits: Anthony Kimber .