‘We’ll get it fixed!’ Zahawi promises quick fix to NHS website crash as over 25s book jabs
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Mr Zahawi has promised to resolve issues where thousands of over 25-year-olds were stuck in queues struggling to book an NHS appointment to get the Covid vaccine. Speaking to LBC, Mr Zahawi said: “I’ll take a look at it but I suspect it’s the latter where thousands of 25-year-olds trying to log on and get their appointments. We will get it fixed.
“We’ve had these things before and we have fixed it within hours.
“We’re sending out 200,000 texts a day to the 25-year-olds so wait for your text message and then log on.”
Stewart Holroyd, who had tried to book an appointment, told LBC: “I’ve been trying to book my Covid vaccine since 7am – only to be told I am not eligible.
“I called up the 119 helpline and the operator told me that the system still needed to finish updating and told me to wait a couple of days before trying to rebook.
“It’s unacceptable for them to boast that 25s and over can book when they can’t.
“I’ve been patiently waiting to book for months, so wouldn’t mind waiting a few more days, but the fact that the NHS and Matt Hancock are telling people they can book when they can’t is infuriating.”
It comes as vaccine confidence is increasing among younger age groups, the NHS said as it urged people to have a coronavirus jab so the nation can “get back to the lives that we love”.
Dr Nikki Kanani, director of primary care for the NHS in England, said she had “goosebumps” at the thought of offering jabs to 25-year-olds just six months after the Covid-19 vaccination programme started.
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Her comments came as the NHS in England opened up appointment bookings to people aged 25 to 29.
Recent polling suggests that confidence in vaccines has increased by a fifth, Dr Kanani said.
She told BBC Breakfast: “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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“More than four in five 40 to 49-year-olds have had their first dose and two-thirds of 30 to 39-year-olds have already had theirs, and that is still going to increase, of course, as people come forward, so uptake remains high.
“We had additional polling over the weekend that shows that the confidence in the vaccine has increased by a fifth – by 20% – in those under-40s.”
She said that entering the final cohort on the vaccine priority list gave her “goosebumps”.
“With the vaccination programme, we have our best chance to start to get all of us, including the health service, back on to an even keel.”
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