The NHS is now offering vaccinations to people who are most at risk from Covid-19. This follows the approval of both the Pfizer BioNTech and Oxford AstraZeneca vaccines as safe and effective after extensive trials.

The first vaccinations are being offered to people in the priority groups identified by the Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), starting with people in care homes and those aged 80 and over.

Groups of GP practices are working together to provide vaccines from local centres and in care homes and will contact eligible patients when it is their turn. Vaccines for frontline health and care workers will also be offered at hospital ‘hubs’ to staff who are at the greatest risk of catching Covid-19.

The local NHS is working to expand the rollout as quickly as supplies become available. The first floor of Spectrum Community Healthcare’s Head Office on Navigation Walk, Wakefield is one of the Community Vaccination Centres that people will be invited to book their appointment at.

We know lots of people will be eager to get protected but you will be invited for a vaccine when it’s your turn so please do not contact your practice, the NHS, or indeed Spectrum, to request an appointment. The NHS is working hard to make sure those at greatest risk are offered the vaccine first and people will not be able to make an appointment until they have received their invitation.

As more supplies of the vaccines become available, we will be able to offer vaccinations to more people and at other locations. These will include local vaccination services provided by GPs and pharmacists, in people’s homes if they can’t come to us and new dedicated vaccination centres to make sure that everyone who needs a vaccine is able to get one.

Please note that vaccinations are free of charge and only available through the NHS. Anyone who claims to be able to provide you with a vaccine for a fee is likely to be committing a crime and should be reported to the Police online or by calling 112.  The NHS will never ask you to press a button on your keypad or send a text asking you to confirm you want the vaccine.

The NHS is currently offering COVID-19 vaccinations to people in the following priority groups:

  • Cohort 5 – people aged 65-69
  • Cohort 6 – people with underlying health conditions that put them at greater risk from COVID-19 and carers of elderly and disabled people.
  • Cohort 7 – people aged 60-64
  • Cohort 8 – people aged 55-59

If you are in one of these groups, you will be contacted when it is your turn for a vaccination, either by your practice or the NHS national booking service.

Anyone aged 55 or over can book an appointment through the national booking service without waiting for a letter or by calling 119. This will be extended to people in cohort 9 (50-54) over the next few weeks so keep an eye on the site homepage to see when you can use the service.

We know lots of people will be eager to get protected but please do not contact your GP practice or the NHS for an appointment. The NHS is working hard to make sure those at greatest risk are offered the vaccine first and people will not be able to make an appointment until they have received an invitation.

COVID-19 vaccinations are free of charge and only available through the NHS. Text messages from the NHS will show as being sent from NHS vaccine and will only link to the NHS.uk website. The NHS will never ask you for your bank account or card details, your PIN or banking password, or ask you to press a button on your keypad.

Please continue to follow all the safety guidance even when you’ve had the vaccine as you may still be able to spread the disease, in particular hand hygiene, wearing a face mask and social distancing.

This will be the largest vaccination programme in the history of the NHS and you can really help us to deliver it to those that need it most by doing the following:

  • Please don’t contact the NHS to seek a vaccine – we will contact you when it’s the right time.
  • When we do contact you, please act immediately and make sure you attend your appointments.
  • Please continue to follow all the guidelines – hand hygiene and social distancing in particular – to control the virus and save lives.

For more information about the vaccine, please visit www.nhs.uk or please see these frequently asked questions here.

You can also or download the patient information leaflets on the following topics, which are available on the West Yorkshire & Harrogate Health & Care Partnership website.