People living in Dorset who are clinically vulnerable are being asked to ensure they accept the offer of a COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible if they have not already done so.

Anyone over the age of 16 who has underlying health conditions that could put them at increased risk if they were to catch COVID-19 is now eligible for a vaccination along with anyone in receipt of a carer’s allowance and those who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person.

A full list of conditions is available at www.nhs.uk.

Since the start of the vaccination programme over 337,000 doses of the vaccine have been delivered in Dorset.

Dr Karen Kirkham, local Dorset GP, and Clinical lead for the Dorset COVID-19 vaccination programme is asking anyone eligible to book their vaccination at the earliest opportunity. She said “The national vaccination programme continues to prioritise those people who are most at risk so we are asking those people who are now eligible as part of cohort 6 to get protected as soon as they can.

The earlier you get your jab the earlier you are protected so please take up the opportunity, book your vaccination to protect yourself and those around you. Please take the positive step of protecting yourself as so many others have done, and please encourage your loved ones to take this step and access the vaccine.”

Invitations will be sent out to eligible people in the post and via text message, but you can also arrange a vaccination through the national booking service which can be accessed at www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination.

Anyone unable to book online can call 119 free of charge, anytime between 7am and 11pm seven days a week.

In order to deliver vaccinations to local communities in the most effective way, local practices that are part of the same Primary Care Network (PCN) have grouped together to work from a central GP led hub which is open to all eligible registered patients. There are 17 hubs across the Dorset Council and BCP Council areas – for more information visit https://www.dorsetccg.nhs.uk/vaccinations/#sites.