'Please wait your turn' - GPs 'overwhelmed' by Covid-19 vaccine calls

Councils and public health officials in Norfolk are gearing up for the potential roll-out of a coron

Councils and public health officials in Norfolk are gearing up for the potential roll-out of a coronavirus vaccine. Picture: BioNTech SE 2020/PA Wire - Credit: PA

GPs are pleading with Suffolk patients to “wait their turn” for the Covid-19 vaccine after being overwhelmed with calls about the jab.

According to the government, 800,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccine should arrive in the UK next week and the first jabs are expected to be given out shortly after.

But a spokesman for the commissioning groups behind GP surgeries across Suffolk asked residents to be patient and avoid calling their doctors for information.

He said that as primary services, GP’s already receive a high number of calls and risk being overloaded if enquiries about the vaccine continue.

The spokesman said that there were a number of “hurdles” still to be overcome before the coronavirus jab will be available across the county.

One doctors’ busy practice in Suffolk has been forced to issue a plea to patients not to call or visit the surgery after a flood of inquiries from people keen to have the anti-virus vaccine.

In an urgent email message, staff at the Bildeston Health Centre near Hadleigh – which has more than 6,000 patients on its books - have asked people to wait to be told when the new drugs have arrived and vaccinations being carried out.

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Surgery staff said: “Plea from the surgery: Can we ask patients NOT to keep calling us about the Covid vaccine. We are not in a position to offer any information at this time.

“Likewise please do not walk into reception to enquire or ask for it to be given either. We really do not have any. As soon as we have full guidance on where and how the vaccines are going to be delivered we will let you know.”

The UK is the first nation to approve the vaccine which will protect the vulnerable against Covid-19.

Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG and West Suffolk CCG, said: “Although it’s great news about the vaccine can we please ask that you don’t call your GP practice asking when you’ll be able to receive it. ”

Patients are reminded that they may receive their jabs at central sites, away from their local GPs surgeries.

The Department of Health and Social Care did not respond when approached for comment.