GPs across north Cumbria are making progress in delivering the COVID-19 vaccine to the region’s most vulnerable patients.
A statement from the NHS said it was expected that over-80s and eligible care home residents will all immunised by now.
The NHS is asking those over 80s who haven’t been offered the vaccine to get in touch with their practices.
Family members or friends who are worried someone may have been missed should talk to the person and support them to contact the practice.
GP teams are now vaccinating over-70s and clinically extremely vulnerable patients.
Ed Tallis, director of primary care for NHS North Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “This has been an extraordinary undertaking mobilising our full primary care teams – GPs, nurses, pharmacists, healthcare assistants the admin teams and many, many others including volunteers.
“We know people are anxious and keen to get their vaccines, which is wonderful to see, and there are some things people can do to help the NHS.
“Please don’t call your practice to try and book a slot. Our teams are working through their patient lists and
will contact you when it is your turn.
“They are also continuing to see and treat people with medical needs and we don’t want to make it difficult for those people to get through.
“We know that some people are worried that they may have been missed.
“It’s important that only those in the over-80s category contact the practice if that is the case.
“We get lots of queries and when we get back to people, they have often, already been called. It is hard, but please give your team time to get to you.
“It is also possible that your relative or friend has decided not to have the jab so we would urge anyone concerned about a family member or friend to have a conversation with them before contacting the practice.
“In north Cumbria we are delighted to see that take up has been very high.”
Health and care workers have also been called as part of the first two cohorts and there has been significant progress in vaccinating frontline workforce.
The NHS has released a list of frequently asked questions surrounding the vaccine to help people who may have queries.
Why do I have to travel to a different surgery for the jab?
Groups of GP Practices are working together in local areas in what are called Primary Care Networks.
There are eight primary care networks across north Cumbria delivering the vaccine from nine hubs.
These hubs had to meet many clinical and logistical criteria to meet the numbers of people being vaccinated in a day with the Pfizer vaccine which has a very short shelf life.
As the more flexible Oxford Zeneca vaccine has come on stream it has helped GPs and their teams to support vaccinations in care homes and for housebound patients.
In addition, some surgeries have been able to offer sessions closer to home. This will continue to develop.
I am a frontline worker in health or social care and haven’t been called yet. Have I been missed?
While the NHS has vaccinated a huge number of health and social care staff, it said it knew that many vital roles are carried out by smaller organisations.
The NHS is asking anyone who has not yet been called in these roles to speak to their employer and ask their employer to contact NHS North Cumbria CCG.
I am an unpaid carer. How will you know I should be called?
The NHS is working with carers’ organisations across north Cumbria to establish a practical solution.
Unpaid carers are part of cohort 6.
I am clinically extremely vulnerable when will I be called?
The NHS is following the guidance outlined by the JCVI and will update people as it moves on to the next cohort.
It is currently starting to call cohorts 3 and 4, which includes the clinically extremely vulnerable.
It says it will take some time to work through this group so please give your practice a chance to contact you.
Once I have had the first vaccine can I stop following the guidelines?
No – you must still continue to follow the guidance.
Please maintain a reduced contact with others. Please follow the hands, face and space rules.
This is to make sure that while you have protection you don’t pass it on to other people.
The Government will let us know when we can start to relax how we follow the rules.
For now we must do all we can.
Can I book my vaccine appointment with my GP?
No. The NHS is asking people to help it by not calling your GP to try and book your vaccine.
You will be told to wait until you are contacted by the NHS.
How are you ensuring no vaccine is wasted?
Primary care vaccine hubs have been asked to have a list of patients in line with the JCVI guidance who can be called in at short notice if there is likely to be any vaccine left at the end of a session.