GWENT residents who haven’t yet received their booster vaccine invitation have been asked not to call up after the health board has been overrun with phone calls.

Since it was announced that every eligible person in Wales would receive a booster jab invitation before the end of 2021, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board said that it has received an “unprecedented” number of calls from the public.

The health board said that around 50 per cent of calls received by vaccination booking centres were from people asking when they would get their booster appointment.


Dr Sarah Aitken, executive director of public health and strategic partnerships at the health board, warned that the rise in calls was slowing down the process of offering booster jab appointments, and asked for the public to be patient and trust their appointment will be arranged shortly.

“We’re really pleased to have the opportunity to offer the booster vaccination to so many residents, and we’re very grateful to those who have accepted the first appointment and have attended on time,” she said. “Unfortunately, due to the incredibly high number of residents now requiring vaccinations by January, answering phone calls and queries from those asking when they will receive their appointment is putting further strain on an already busy service.

“Whilst we will do everything we can to help, each query takes time to deal with; time that could be better spent issuing vaccinations.

“Please be flexible, accept your first appointment, expect to receive an appointment at short notice, and answer our calls from an 0330 number.

“If you cannot attend the appointment allocated to you, please be aware that we will not be able to issue you with a replacement appointment until the New Year due to the very high volume of people that we are vaccinating.

“Contacting us will not accelerate your appointment and will slow down our process for offering appointments- so please don’t contact us to ask when you will receive your appointment.

“Please be patient and trust that we will be in touch with you once we have allocated you an appointment.”

Last week, more than 30,000 booster jabs were administered in Gwent as part of the accelerated programme.

What to do if you haven’t received your letter yet?

The short answer is, nothing. Gwent residents will be issued with appointments via letter, by phone (from a number beginning in 0330), or by text.

Anyone unable to attend their appointment will be offered a second appointment, however this would likely be in early January due to the high number of vaccines booked in.

What to do when you get your appointment?

With such a large number of vaccinations to deliver, the health board is asking all residents to do everything they possibly can to attend the first appointment offered to them – even though some will be offered at short notice.

Anyone who has been issued with an appointment is urged to keep it and attend on time.