'EXTREMELY high' demand for Covid-19 booster jabs is 'creating difficulties' across Dorset say health bosses.

Demand for coronavirus booster jabs is 'extremely high' as the number of eligible people increases across Dorset, however the booster programme has now seen 160,000 people receive a third dose of a coronavirus vaccine in the county.

People can now book their booster appointment five months (152 days) after their second dose, meaning they could receive their top up vaccine on the first day they become eligible at six months (182 days). 

Booster vaccines can still only be given after a six-month interval but allowing appointments to be booked at five months means people can get their jabs booked ahead of time.

However, there have been a number of reports of residents struggling to get a slot to have their booster vaccination in the county. 

A spokesperson for Dorset CCG said: “In line with national guidance, we are working extremely hard to roll out the COVID-19 booster with almost 160,000 people in Dorset now vaccinated.

“We are seeing very high demand for boosters as the number of eligible people increases and patients can either wait for their GP practice to contact them or book via the national booking service (NBS) for their booster.

“We know that demand through the national booking system is extremely high and that this is creating difficulties for some people trying to book a vaccine in their local area. Available appointments continue to be added to the national booking system and we would advise people to continue to keep checking for new appointment slots.

“We are keen to encourage patients to book their booster appointment for a time near to six-months following the second dose, but would reassure them that the 6 month interval is a minimum recommended period and receiving the booster slightly later will still provide them with protection.

"The important thing is that people continue to come forward and take up the offer as soon as suitable appointments become available.

“We’d like to thank people for their patience during this very busy time for the NHS as we deliver the largest vaccination programme in our history.”