Covid-19 vaccinations for over 50s and 60s across Coventry and Warwickshire are set to start at the beginning of April.

But Dr Sarah Raistrick, Chair and GP at NHS Warwickshire North and NHS Coventry and Rugby CCGs said the date is not yet set in stone – as NHS staff cannot move on to vaccinate younger people until the current priority groups have been given their first dose.

And vaccination teams will need to work ‘double time’ when they do begin jabs for those in their 50s and 60s, because second injections for people who have already had their first dose are set to begin at around the same time.

“We have got to get through this cohort of people, we are not rushing down the groups until we have mopped up the vast majority of the people, but we will be ramping it up again very soon,” Dr Raistrick said.

“By the end of March, beginning of April is when we will be running double time, we will be doing second doses and, by that time, late March into early April hopefully we will be well down the cohort and onto the people in their 50s and early 60s.

“We want to do it, ideally, nationally in line with the national direction, when we are thinking bigger picture, we want everyone in the UK in the top priority groups to be vaccinated.

“But we definitely want to do it as a group, across Coventry and Warwickshire, and move as one into the younger age groups.”

In the meantime, the message could not be clearer – anyone aged over 70 who has not had their jab is being urged to get in touch.

As we reported in our newsletter, there is a missing age group – between 70 and 74-years-old – that health bosses say need to book in for their jab as soon as possible to keep their plans on track

“The group of 70 to 74 year olds, they are lagging a little bit behind but they are now touching 80 per cent, across the area, Dr Raistrick said.

“If that is because you believe you haven’t been offered it, now is your time. Please make contact or get someone in your family to make contact with us.”

She added: “When it is your turn, just get it done, the sooner the people whose turn it is to get it done, the sooner we can move onto the next age group.

“I know it is very emotional for people because they either know of friends or loved ones have died because of Covid or because, like everyone, their whole lifestyles have been altered because of it.

“It is on the top of everyone’s agenda.”

All patients who are aged 70 and over and who have not already had their first vaccine can arrange a vaccination through the national booking service which can be found online here or call 119 between 7am and 11pm.

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