People making phone calls to doctors surgeries for information on when they will receive the Covid-19 vaccine are causing delays to routine appointments, North Yorkshire health leaders have said.
Officials at NHS North Yorkshire CCG said GP surgeries are taking a “high volume” of calls about the vaccine and are urging patience as the roll-out is sped up.
The NHS is currently offering the jab to people most at risk from coronavirus and patients are being contacted when it is their turn.
Dr Charles Parker, clinical chair of NHS North Yorkshire CCG, said: “GP practices are currently taking a high volume of calls about the vaccine, which means people calling their surgery for routine appointments are having to wait much longer for their call to be answered.
“Please, don’t call your surgery about the vaccine; they will get in touch with you at the appropriate time and you will not miss out.”
The vaccine is being offered in some hospitals and vaccination centres in North Yorkshire and York.
Those aged 80 and over, along with frontline health and care workers and care home residents, are being prioritised.
People aged 75 and over and then all those who are 70 and over, together with clinically extremely vulnerable patients will follow.
The government has set a target for people in these priority groups to be given the first dose of either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine by 15 February.
Amanda Bloor, accountable officer of NHS North Yorkshire CCG Accountable Officer, said: “It’s heartening to see patients’ enthusiasm to have the Covid vaccine, but it’s important those at most risk of falling seriously ill and dying from coronavirus are vaccinated first.
“Your GP surgery is following the necessary guidance and will be in touch with you when it’s your turn to be vaccinated – please do not contact them.”