NHS website crashes as people try to book Covid booster jabs

The Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine is administered. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Many people reported difficulty in booking a Covid-19 booster jab after the NHS website crashed. - Credit: Denise Bradley

The NHS website has faced technical problems which has left many people unable to book Covid-19 booster jabs.

People across Norfolk have struggled to book their third jab, with many saying they had been kicked out of the website.

It comes after prime minister Boris Johnson’s televised address on Sunday (December 12) which urged eligible people to "get boosted now".

In a statement on its website, the NHS confirmed it was experiencing technical difficulties but was working towards a resolution as quickly as possible.

"The NHS website is currently experiencing technical difficulties. We are working to resolve these issues," it says. "Thank you for your patience.”

In a tweet, the NHS also advised people trying to book a Covid-19 booster jab to try later or tomorrow.

The health service said: "The Covid vaccine booking service is currently facing extremely high demand so is operating a queuing system.

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"For users aged 18 to 29, please be aware that booking opens on Wednesday, December 15.

"For all others experiencing waits, we would advise trying again later today or tomorrow."

Figures have suggested that an estimated 17 million people are eligible to have their Covid booster jabs.

On Sunday, Mr Johnson said everyone over 18 in England "will have the chance to get their booster before the new year".

More than 40pc of UK adults have already had a booster vaccination, but Mr Johnson moved his target forward by a month in a bid to head off the worst effects of the Omicron variant.

The latest figures from NHS England suggest that there are about 17.4 million people in England who had a second dose at least three months ago, and are now eligible for a booster.

When a reporter for this newspaper attempted to book a booster jab, they were held in a digital queue for 45 minutes.

Our reported waited around 45 minutes in the queue to book a Covid-19 booster jab.

Our reporter waited around 45 minutes in the queue to book a Covid-19 booster jab. - Credit: NHS England

Others in Norfolk have also reported problems on social media.

On our Facebook page, Sylvia Rowley said: "I’m in the over 50s group and didn’t get called to book my booster until a week ago. The only appointment I could get as it was the only appointment on offer was 24th December!! No way is everyone going to get their vaccine booster by the end of year."

Dom de Souza added: "Queues were more manic than a Next Boxing Day sale but when you finally get through it repeatedly asked for your NHS number. Finally got past that glitch and got an appointment this week. I expected it to be a bit crazy with the level of service but once again the government has acted too slowly.

"The vaccination centres are brilliant and very efficient though and the staff all doing a great job."

Tilly Dease said: "Very difficult, there are appointments in Kent and Sussex but not in Norfolk. I ended up going to the walk-in centre and there was no problem."

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