Adults in England aged 25 to 29 are now able to book their Covid vaccines, the Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced. Mr Hancock told MPs vaccination remains the best way out of the pandemic as doubts continue to mount over the proposed lockdown lifting date of June 21. Under 30s are the final cohort on the Government’s vaccine priority list.
Speaking about June 21, dubbed ‘freedom day’, the Health Secretary said it was “too early to make decisions” on the final step of the roadmap.
He said: “The roadmap has always been guided by the data and as before, we need four weeks between steps to see the largest data and a further week to give notice of our decision.”
An announcement on the data review and next steps for easing lockdown is expected on June 14.
Mr Hancock added: “The majority of people in hospital with Covid appear to be those who haven’t had the vaccine at all.”
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But while the Government urges people to be vaccinated, the issue isn’t take up, but that young people don’t seem to be able to book.
People have been taking to Twitter to share the issues they’ve been having with the booking service.
One person tweeted a screenshot of the message she was shown through the NHS booking service, which read: “You are not currently eligible to book through this service.
“If you think you should be eligible for the vaccine you can call the helpline on 119.”
But even people who have called the helpline don’t seem to have been able to book a jab.
One person replied: “I think it’s because they’re working through the late 20s first – I managed to book but I know people who are 25 who haven’t! Hopefully won’t be long though…”
Others have reported being stuck in virtual queues of almost 11,000 people trying to get vaccinated.
One user tweeted: “Waited 15 minutes in the queue for the NHS booking system for the vaccine only to get this. Now the queue is over 5,000 people – will all these people be hit by the same message.”
Complaining about the long wait times, another wrote: “I have been in a queue to book my COVID vaccine for like 30 mins. It deffo [sic] lied when it said 10.”
Another said: “Trying to book a vaccine this morning? According to the lovely but clearly overwhelmed operator on the phone, it could be a matter of ‘hours… or maybe even days’ until England’s vaccine booking system has fully updated with the records of all eligible 25-29 year olds.”
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What to do
While the situation is undoubtedly frustrating, there’s not much people can do as things stand.
The best course of action is simply to try again in a few hours or tomorrow when things have calmed down.
While you are free to call 119, the over-the-phone vaccine booking system, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to book via this method.
One Twitter user explained: “Just called 119 and she just said there was nothing they can do as demand was so high and to just keep trying.”
The same social media user who tweeted the screen shot of her NHS message said they were able to book after a while.
Replying to the user who explained about the high demand, they wrote: “Yeah defo [sic] [keep trying], I just managed to book eventually.”
Another wrote: “I spoke to someone on the phone booking, apparently, they are in the process of uploading everyone’s data so you should be able to book in the next couple of days.
“They can’t book you over the phone if the online doesn’t work.”