Waiting to be called for vaccine vs booking online now - time lag?

(53 Posts)
FreeFallingFree Tue 13-Apr-21 20:16:03

I realise this may come down to unknowns like how lumpy vaccine supply is and the demographics of the area, but I have relatives who are eligible to book their vaccine online but who want to wait until they get a letter inviting them to a local venue as opposed to travelling to a hub. Does anyone have any idea about how much longer they might have to wait vs booking online now? Other people in the area who have booked today are being jabbed later this week.

I'm trying to figure out if they are adding days, weeks or longer onto their wait time. They have underlying health conditions which makes me think that if it's the latter it might be worth them travelling the extra distance.

OP’s posts: |
WombatChocolate Tue 13-Apr-21 20:42:20

It is impossible to say. GPs who have spare supply (and they have been told they won’t have deliveries for 1st doses week of 12 and 19 April) can now call people.

Typically, GPs pick up those who haven’t booked on the national system, if they are just age-order priority rather than CEV or CV. This often takes a couple of weeks.

It is everyone’s personal choice, but we are recommended that as soon as we are eligible we book. A bird in the hand could be seen as worth more than 2 in the bush. That GP invite might not come for 2 or 3 weeks.

If they don’t want to travel, is there a family member who can drive them? Have they actually looked at the national system and input their details to see where they get offered? The national system has pharmacies on it too and these might be closer to them than they think.

I’d encourage famiky members to get on and book and think that most people who are now eligible can make the journey....they’re mostly 40s, not 80s now and a bit of a journey for something worthwhile doesn’t seem ridiculous, especially if they have a car.

It is also better for everyone if more get jabbed sooner. We get to herd immunity sooner and age groups get completed sooner moving the next group down can get theirs quicker. Lots of people struggle to think about the bigger picture stuff though.

That said, they will be offered it so not booking now won’t mean they ever get excluded. The offer of a jab is described as ‘evergreen’ and eligible people will be welcomed now or followed up (multiple times if needed) and welcomed whenever they eventually say yes.

Potcallingkettle Tue 13-Apr-21 20:45:45

Booked on national system today. Offered 4 venues from 4-13 miles away. If I wait for GP, the venue I’ll be offered is just over 3 miles away. No advantage so booked for Friday 4 miles away.

WombatChocolate Tue 13-Apr-21 20:47:16

Oh and just seen the underlying health conditions. Assuming they haven’t been categorised as group 6 with conditions though..otherwise would have been called by GP weeks ago.

I’d really encourage them if they have risk factors. The JCVI today have highlighted certain groups who really should respond to eligibility as soon as possible. These include men 40-49, especially those in public facing roles or in jobs which have had to go out to work throughout lockdown, those with BMI of over 30 and those in ethnic minorities. Of course some people just missed out by their asthma not being severe enough or their BMI not being as high as 40 before.

Can you take them or find a local friend or family member to take them? If they work from home and don’t go out, waiting won’t probably matter, but if they are shopping or going to work etc, the sooner people can be jabbed the better. The JCVI bar charts show the risk of hospitalisation for 45+ is significantly higher than for younger groups and for men it is twice that of women. These risks are all still far lower than for older age groups, but better to get protected sooner if it’s available.

Bellie99 Tue 13-Apr-21 20:49:34

I was eligible as of today. I couldn't get on the website to book and when I did I couldn't book as each combination of centres failed to find me a date for the second jab so cancelled my first date. After a few hours of trying I decided to give up and try again tomorrow.
Late this afternoon, I received a text from my gp asking me to book through their link, and lo and behold I now have my fist jab next week at a centre round the corner, which wasn't an option on the main website!

FlyingBurrito Tue 13-Apr-21 20:49:53

I don't think there's any way anyone could possibly know the answer to that.

Is the problem with a mass vac centre the distance or something else?

FlyingBurrito Tue 13-Apr-21 20:51:33


I don't think there's any way anyone could possibly know the answer to that.

Is the problem with a mass vac centre the distance or something else?

Sorry, should say only the distance

WombatChocolate Tue 13-Apr-21 20:51:47

I do remain surprised at how many people don’t like the idea of travelling perhaps 15-20 miles when we are talking about 50+ or 40+.

Supply is limited at the moment and lots of GPs won’t be able to offer 1st jabs. So many people have been desperate to be the jab and it to be opened to over 40s. But still people seem to see a journey as too much hassle or effort or cost or whatever. I can see it was an issue for older groups or those with medical conditions, which is why GPs called some of these, but it is expected most 40+ can travel. Do you think lots of 40s rarely travel 20 miles or go somewhere unknown? It just surprises me to have such limited boundaries. Or is it just they think it’s not worth it because they aren’t bothered about waiting another week or 2 for the jab as Covid doesn’t worry them much? Guess it can be this too.

WombatChocolate Tue 13-Apr-21 20:54:28

There you are, Bellie shows that some GPs are offering invites to the local sites too. It is certainly happening as other threads mention it too.

But, and it’s a big but,we. Do know for sure that delivery to GPs has been reduced to zero for this week and next. Some clearly have some stock they can use, beyond what is needed for 2nd jabs, but we just don’t know who has some of that, who they will offer to first (perhaps 49s) or how long it will last.

ExpulsoCorona Tue 13-Apr-21 20:55:16

GP here - we've got one first dose clinic tomorrow and then no first doses for at least two weeks. We have plenty of second dose clinics this month. The time lag will depend on how far your GP/PCN have got. If they haven't started their under 50s yet, then they may be able to use their stores for 49 year olds and then get to the rest after two weeks.

scrappydappydoo Tue 13-Apr-21 20:56:38

Nearest place with appointments is 40 miles away through notoriously bad traffic - the whole appointment would take me about 5hrs - also worried about driving on my own if I feel wobbly. I am keen to get vaccinated but I’m waiting to see if anymore appointments open up nearer to me rather than dh and I basically taking a day off work.

WombatChocolate Tue 13-Apr-21 20:59:37

Last thing. 2 booking systems and different locations offered by both, in case you don’t know.

National Booking system (no invite needed...all 45+ eligible today) books people to mass centres, pharmacies and hospitals usually.

GP locally led booking (invite usually by text or phone call) allows people to book at lcoal sites...often community centres and sometimes a GP surgery used as a centre by several surgeries.

With the national system you book both jabs at same time, so you know exactly when 2nd will be. Most GP led services just book 1st and later call people to make 2nd appointment, often after 11 weeks. Lots of people prefer the 1st system as they know both dates in advance.

Being the first day of rollout today there are difficulties for some getting both appointments and therefore being able to book on the national system. It might be that in the days to come it gets easier. Or it might be harder if supply is low. We assume they wouldn’t open it up to 45-49 if supply wasn’t there, but it might be pretty tight and make finding slots harder.

Again, bird in hand is worth 2 in bush at the moment.

WombatChocolate Tue 13-Apr-21 21:03:26

Scrappy, see what Expo says. GPs are not getting deliveries for 2 weeks. You could decide to wait for a GP call and find it’s tomorrow, but especially if you’re closer to 45 than 40 you might wait 2 weeks.

Work places understand people need to take the time off to get the jab. It’s important and worth the time and effort. But it’s your choice and if you work at home and don’t go out or see people the risk of catching Covid while you wait is small.

I’d make the effort and brave the traffic if I were you. Vaccine might not be available in the coming days...we know supply for 1st doses is limited generally.

FreeFallingFree Tue 13-Apr-21 21:23:57

Okay, thank you all. That is helpful.

To give some context. This relates to a couple, both in late 40s. Between them, they have all of the risk factors you mention WombatChocolate, other than neither is from an ethinic minority, which is why I think it would be a good idea for them to be vaccinated sooner rather than later.

They have not looked on the online system to see what else might be available in their area. The issue is not access to transport: they have a car. I suspect the issue is unacknowedged and therefore untreated agoraphobia in one of the couple - to the extent that even looking online and thinking about travelling is stressful (?) - but it's the elephant in the room, and results in a lot of seemingly illogical behaviours from the outside. At the moment it's manifesting in 'we're just going to wait until we're called by the GP.' However, it's not clear to me if this approach will even result in an appointment closer to home. If GPs are mostly picking up second doses now then it seems more likely they will end up with an appointment at one of the hubs.

If the delay is potentially weeks or longer, I think I might have to start trying to nudge them, at least to look online and see what the options are.

OP’s posts: |
WombatChocolate Tue 13-Apr-21 21:37:30

If there are the kind of issues you mention, it might be possible for a family member to let the GP know.

GPs are strongly encouraged to reach out to those with the risk factors and also to make the vaccine as accessible as possible. It cannot hurt to flag the potential issues ...but you’d have to feel comfortable doing that.

Or is it that really they are hesitant and this is a way to avoid quite saying that. Would they feel worried about local jab too - often not actually at GP surgery?

Either way, GPs are dealing with barriers to vaccination all the time and will address them if they know. But you’re right that a sooner than later jab would be good.

Could someone offer to book for them and take them?

Good luck - hope you find a way through.

MercyBooth Wed 14-Apr-21 00:18:25

Im 47 and ive only been out of my home town twice since 2007. There are some of us who do live like that.

SerenadeOfTheSchoolRun Wed 14-Apr-21 06:42:18

Our local GPs have put a message on Facebook to say no more 1st vaccines for a while - use the national site, whereas in the next area over, the GPs were vaccinating 40 year olds last week so it could be any time. Does their GP publish any updates?

lughnasadh Wed 14-Apr-21 06:48:57

Obviously the people you know have other issues, but booking through the hub yesterday got me a centre five minutes down the road.

A text from the GP a few weeks ago wanted me to travel to a site they'd set up on an industrial estate involving a three hour round trip.

KatherineJaneway Wed 14-Apr-21 06:58:02

I can only say from my experience but my GP text me yesterday morning giving me a link to book. I'd booked the night before so used the link to opt out.

It will depend on where they are in the UK, I'd advise them to look on the NHS site as there might be a vaccine centre close up them they are unaware of. I thought we only had two in our area but there were further smaller ones.

icelollycraving Wed 14-Apr-21 07:32:17

I tried all day yesterday. It only could give me an appointment for the first, no second available and then routinely booted me off. I tried all day and then again this morning.
It’s offering me London and I’m south coast. I’ll wait. I don’t drive which limits me a bit but I don’t want to have catch a train and tube. I’m assuming it’ll ease when supplies are better.

JurassicShay Wed 14-Apr-21 07:34:37

I was eligible over a month ago and have waited to be able to go local as I don't drive.

I'm still waiting to be contacted by my GP.

Florabella Wed 14-Apr-21 07:37:30

I booked mine on the website on Monday evening for an appointment yesterday. Yesterday morning I got a text from my gp to book (so did 2 other people I know at same practice) and I could have got an appointment next Tuesday that way. We are all 48/49

BruceAndNosh Wed 14-Apr-21 07:42:26

The GP hubs are not necessarily closer.
The one I volunteer at is doing one full day session a week. It covers several practices in the surrounding area, the addresses I was inputting were easily 5+ miles away.
There might well be a national hub closer.

If anxiety is an issue, the small pharmacy option suits a lot of people

GoWalkabout Wed 14-Apr-21 07:48:30

Lots of local pharmacies are offering them in community halls. Ours was very close to home.

moochingtothepub Wed 14-Apr-21 07:52:12

Dp was called by his dr the day after he became eligible through the national system, he'd already booked with the hub so stuck with there, we decided to l age local appointments for those who couldn't travel. I got mine as an unpaid carer when my dd (asd) was vaccinated thankfully. If people can get to the larger vaccine centre it's very simple

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