health

‘Glastonbury-style’ rush sees NHS website crash as over 25s swamp site for Covid vaccine


THE NHS vaccine site was swamped with a “Glastonbury-style” rush as bookings opened to over 25s – only for some to be told they weren’t eligible.

Today Brits aged 25-29 were urged to book their vaccine but some were left disappointed as they were unable to access the site.

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People flocked to social media stating that they were not eligible for the jab

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People flocked to social media stating that they were not eligible for the jabCredit: Twitter
More Brits are now eligible to book their coronavirus vaccine online - but some had difficulty today

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More Brits are now eligible to book their coronavirus vaccine online – but some had difficulty todayCredit: SWNS

Health Secretary Matt Hancock yesterday announced that bookings for the younger age group would be open from 7am.

Excited to finally be innoculated, hundreds of thousands of Brits swarmed the site to book a slot – with 100,000 vaccine appointments scheduled every hour today.

But most people were met with a virtual queue but some young people have reported problems with the website.

NHS Chief Executive Sir Simon Stevens said that this encouraged a “Glastonbury-style rush for appointments”.

He added: “Pleasingly this suggests strong enthusiasm for vaccination amongst people in their twenties, following hard on the heels of the millions of others who’ve already taken up our offer.”

But this morning many people posted screenshots to social media, showing an error message which tells them that they are “not currently eligible to book through this service”.

In response, a spokesperson for NHS Digital said: “Large numbers of people are currently booking their vaccine appointments through the NHS website, which means you may need to wait in a queue.

“We know that some people have been receiving an ineligible message when trying to book, which is being fixed now, so please retry.”

Many people reported not being able to book a jab close to them, or being told to call 119 to arrange a vaccine.

It comes as:

Many people were met with long queues when they attempted to book a vaccine and the screenshot above was taken at around 1.15pm this afternoon

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Many people were met with long queues when they attempted to book a vaccine and the screenshot above was taken at around 1.15pm this afternoonCredit: NHS

However others said there were able to access the site early – with some even book their jabs on Monday evening.

Those who are 24 years old and turn 25 before 1 July 2021 can also arrange their appointments on the NHS website.

The NHS hailed the “home straight” of the biggest vaccination programme in its history.

Despite this many social media users reported not being able to access the booking portal.

One tweeted: “20 minutes in an online queue to be told I’m not eligible for a vaccine I am perfectly eligible for.”

Another added: “NHS website still says I’m not eligible to get vaccinated. I’m 25 let me in.”

Credit: Twitter
Social media users tweeted their dismay at not being able to book a jab despite now being eligible

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Social media users tweeted their dismay at not being able to book a jab despite now being eligibleCredit: Twitter

Others were shocked that they had waited for long for the jab – only to be told they still weren’t eligbile.

One said: “This is a bit ridiculous, the website has now updated to say all over 25s are eligible, but when I try to book it’s still saying I’m not.”

It comes less than two weeks after those aged 30 and over became eligble as the jabbing campaign speeds ahead.

Dr Nikki Kanani, director of primary care at NHS England, said that vaccine confidence in younger people had increased.

She told BBC Breakfast: “We had additional polling over the weekend that shows that the confidence in the vaccine has increased by a fifth – by 20 per cent – in those under-40s.

“We’re still seeing great uptake and we are definitely seeing younger people coming in and asking more questions, which is absolutely fine.”

 

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She said more than four in five people in their 40s and two-thirds of those in their 30s have had their first dose, “and that is still going to increase”.

Nearly 77 per cent of adults in the UK have now had their initial shot and more than half (52.5 per cent) have had two.

Meanwhile, Wales is on track to offer every adult aged over 18 a Covid jab by next Monday.

First Minister Mark Drakeford has also pledged to get everyone double-jabbed by September.

Matt Hancock says Covid data suggests vaccinated groups make up minority of hospitalisations but too early to make a call on June 21





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