Elderly people in Dorset have told of their upset after residents were told to travel miles from their homes to receive their spring Covid-19 jabs.

The NHS National Booking System opened for the spring vaccination bookings on Monday, April 15, with appointments available from the following week until June 30.

Already those eligible in Weymouth, Portland and Dorchester - people at an increased risk from severe illness including those aged 75 - trying to book an appointment have been told that their only option is to go to a centre in Wareham or Bridport.

Read more: NHS Booking System opens for Spring Covid-19 vaccines

For Ronald Scott, 81, and his wife from Wyke Regis, that is just too far. He said: "It is too far to go. How many thousands of people are there in Weymouth and Dorchester who have been told to have this vaccine.

"It just seems crazy to me. It is a ludicrous situation."

NHS Dorset says that the national booking system only allows for three weeks’ worth of appointments to be shown at a time. This means more appointments will eventually become available.

For those on Portland, travelling on and off the island for healthcare is often a challenge, particularly for those eligible for the spring jab.

Jo Dolbear, chairwoman of Portland Carers Support Group, says she has had people in tears over the phone worrying. She said: "It really is important. I have carers calling me in tears and I have had people going to Wareham."

NHS Dorset has now confirmed that on May 10 and May 24 there will be appointments available at Portland Hospital, with walk-in clinics planned for Easton Square.

A spokesperson for NHS Dorset said: "If all appointments for that period are booked, for example at the Weymouth site, then that clinic is no longer visible for the public as an option to choose. At midnight every Sunday, the next set of appointments are released nationally, which give a new weeks’ worth of appointment slots for people to choose from."

Paul Bolton, Clinical Service Manager for the Dorset Vaccination Service said: “Weymouth is one of our larger vaccination sites in the county able to see more than 300 people a day running an efficient service.

"There are plenty of slots available for all residents eligible up until the end of June and we would urge anyone who cannot get an appointment currently to keep looking - particularly after the first few weeks after opening as demand tends to ease off."