Patient misses vaccine appointment - because they were eating a takeaway

A Covid vaccination being given in Lavenham

'Vaccine apathy' is rising in Suffolk as the number of people not attending appointments increase - Credit: Charlotte Bond

GPs and vaccine bosses called on people to do their "little bit" and get vaccinated as the number of no-shows mounts up. 

More than 20 people did not attend appointments booked at one vaccination centre yesterday — with one person's excuse being that they had ordered a Chinese takeaway.

A spokesman for the CCG, which is overseeing the vaccination effort in the county, said this was "fairly commonplace".

He explained that some of the no-shows were caused by people rebooking appointments to be more convenient and failing to cancel their previous appointment.

But others are because people wrongly think they do not need to be vaccinated.

"As we go down the age cohorts the vaccine apathy is going up because younger people are theoretically less at risk to the virus," the spokesman said.

"We are doing everything we can to persuade everyone to have both doses. If you've had your first one, it doesn't give you anywhere near the efficacy of having two."

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The spokesman said the rise in hospitalisations among un-vaccinated people in Bolton and Blackburn should underline the need to have both doses.

They added there is currently a lot of vaccine availability in Suffolk and called for people to book appointments through the NHS national booking system as soon as their age group is eligible.

Dr Richard West, lead partner at Woolpit GP Surgery, said the surgery had invited 3,000 people to get their jabs, but only 1,200 had answered the call.

Dr West said the people were mainly under-40 and called for them to get vaccinated for their family and friends sake if not their own.

"It's not only important for you, it's important for you relatives and friends as well," he said. "We all need to do our little bit.

"Vaccination is vitally important if we want to reach herd immunity."

Dr West said it was especially important for younger people to get vaccinated so they did not spread the virus even if they were asymptomatic themselves.

He said anyone who has concerns about the vaccines safety should get "professional, personalised" advice from vaccination centre staff.