Huge numbers of Covid vaccine bookings in Suffolk

Nurse Hayley Kirk. The first Ipswich covid vaccinations are being administered at Two Rivers Medical

The Suffolk GP Federation has temporarily paused text message vaccination invites due to an influx in bookings - Credit: Charlotte Bond

People in Suffolk trying to book a coronavirus vaccine appointment have been urged to be patient after a huge surge in demand on Monday morning.

The Suffolk GP Federation said at one point, a record 2,000 people were using its website, and 200 patients booked in just 30 seconds.

It said it had temporarily paused text message vaccination invites "to allow the booking line to catch up".

At 10.30am, it said there was a 15min wait for people calling to book.

The Federation, made up of 57 GP practices in the county, is running five of the vaccination centres in Suffolk – including the Trinity Park site near Ipswich and The Mix in Stowmarket. It is also working alongside 28 GP practices from Ipswich to Eye and Haverhill to Aldeburgh.

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Shortly after 9am Monday, the Federation said it had received 200 bookings from patients in 30 seconds via its online and telephone services – with its website handling 2,000 visitors.

As a result, text message invites to those eligible for the jab have been temporarily paused to ensure the services have time to catch up.

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The influx comes on the day over 70s began being invited to book their vaccination, while the push to vaccinate all over 80s and care home residents continues.

Those eligible for the vaccine are receiving either text messages or letters from the NHS inviting them to book their jab.

Some over 80s are yet to receive their invitation however, although it is said any over 70s who receive an invitation before them will not necessarily be receiving their vaccination first.

The Federation has also reminded patients that their telephone services remain incredibly busy and will likely be quieter during the afternoon.

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