As the government claimed to have met its coronavirus booster shots target, health officials warned that up to 40% of vaccine appointments are no-shows. NHS Confederation admitted that seeing people come out and get vaccine shots was encouraging, but some locations are just a third full.
According to Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, some primary care leaders have notified the organisation that up to 40% of booked appointments are not being kept. He said:
Cases of Omicron are rising rapidly... Health leaders are worried about the level of illness and demand that their staff across the NHS could have to respond to in January and so, it is vital that everyone who is eligible takes up the offer of a jab or booster shot.
No-shows on the rise!
There was a time in the UK that booked more than 100,000 vaccine appointments, however, they now seem to have slowed down. Taylor further added:
Some primary care leaders are telling us their vaccination clinics are only a third full and that people are not turning up to as many as 40% of their booked appointments.
While walk-ins continue to be on offer, they are calling on people to stick to their scheduled vaccine appointments and if they can't for whatever reason that they cancel with notice as this will help manage pressures, particularly given the staffing crisis we are facing currently.
Anti-vaxxers have been accused of scheduling vaccine appointments and then failing to show up. The remarks came after the Department of Health and Social Care announced that it had met PM Johnson's target of providing a booster shot to all eligible over-18s in England by December 31.
The government’s target is based on vaccine uptake and contacting those who are eligible. It is a great win for everyone who made it possible to achieve the goal. Labour's shadow health secretary Wes Streeting said:
While eagle-eyed observers will note that the prime minister shifted the goalposts on what he actually promised to deliver, this should not detract one bit from the fact that the NHS has pulled off an unprecedented number of vaccinations in recent weeks.
Everyone involved should be enormously proud of what they've achieved, from volunteer vaccinators through to members of our armed forces drafted in to help.
The goal was to provide a booster shot to individuals who were qualified by the end of January. However, due to the discovery and subsequent spread of the more transmissible Omicron strain of COVID-19, this was pushed back a month.
On Wednesday, the UK recorded a total of 435,293 booster and third doses, the highest day total since December 23.