Posted: Wed 5th May 2021

Missed vaccination appointments becoming a “growing problem” says North Wales health board

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, May 5th, 2021

People are being urged to come forward for vaccination when contacted after the North Wales health board reported a “growing problem” with individuals failing to attend appointments.

So far 600,068 vaccinations have been administered in North Wales since rollout began in December last year.

However in recent weeks there has been what is described as a “growing problem” with people failing to attend vaccine appointments.

Last week Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board urged employers to allow staff the time off to be vaccinated when contacted.

Other reasons include duplicate appointments, incorrect contact details or appointment letters arriving late.

However Gill Harris, Executive Director of Nursing and Midwifery, said in the majority of missed appointments are due to people failing to notify the health board that they can either not attend or do not want to be vaccinated.

Ms Harris said: “Vaccines are never thrown away, but each missed appointment wastes vital NHS resources and creates significant logistical challenges for our staff, who are pulled away from other duties to contact people next in line at short notice to fill appointment slots.

“We urge people to:

Please let us know if you cannot attend your appointment so it can be offered to somebody else
Please call your GP surgery if you were due to receive vaccination there, or call our COVID-19 Vaccination Contact Centre on 03000 840004 if you were due to receive vaccination anywhere else. The lines are open Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm and Saturday to Sunday, 9am to 1pm
If you receive a text message appointment reminder, this will include details of how you can cancel your appointment by text
Please still attend if you have any concerns about the vaccine, so we can take the time to discuss these with you before you make a decision on whether or not to go ahead with vaccination
We are also appealing to employers across the region to be sympathetic to requests for their staff to take time off to attend vaccination appointments.

“Vaccination provides the best protection from becoming seriously ill with COVID-19, and it is our best route out of the pandemic.”

Over the coming week the health board are continuing to provide vaccination to the following groups, with invitations made by letter, text message and phone call to people in Priority Groups 1-9 who were unable to receive their vaccination when it was first offered and those aged 18-49 years (Priority Group 10).

Percentage of people in Priority Groups who have received a first dose:

  • People aged 65 to 69: 93 per cent
  • People aged 16 to 64 in an at risk group: 85 per cent
  • People aged 60 to 64: 88 per cent
  • People aged 55-59: 86 per cent
  • People aged 50-54: 84 per cent
  • People aged 40-49: 43 per cent People aged 30-39: 15 per cent
  • People aged 18-29: 29 per cent

People in the following groups who have not yet been able to take up an appointment are asked to complete an online form. The health board will then send out an appointment letter in the post.

  • A person over 16 who lives with individuals with severely weakened immune systems
  • Aged 40 or over and not received an invite
  • Aged 16 years to 64 years with certain underlying health conditions
  • Unpaid carers who are unknown to the health board

Those aged 18-39 are asked to be patient and will be contacted soon.

Anyone who has waited more than 11 weeks for their second dose of the vaccine is being asked to contact their GP if they received a first dose at a GP surgery or the COVID-19 Vaccination Contact Centre on 03000 840004 if they received their first dose anywhere else.

The lines are open Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm and Saturday to Sunday, 9am to 1pm.

As part of the ongoing vaccine rollout the health board has also held its first Drive-Thru Vaccination Oxford AstraZeneca Clinic at Preswyfla in Mold.

Ms Harris said: “We are currently examining how further drive-thru clinics can be introduced elsewhere in North Wales in the coming weeks.

“Working with our GP cluster colleagues, we have begun introducing additional vaccination clinics in order to increase flexibility and offer vaccination to people closer to home.

“Where there is an opportunity for people to contact us to book an appointment at one of these clinics, this will be communicated via our social media channels.”

She added: “If you have any concerns about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, please still attend your appointment so we can take the time to discuss these with you before you make a decision on whether or not to go ahead with vaccination.

“Please remember that the COVID-19 vaccine is only available through the NHS and it is completely free of charge. We will NEVER ask for copies of your personal documents or bank details to book an appointment.

“If you receive an email, text message or phone call purporting to be from the NHS and you are asked to provide financial details, this is a scam.”

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