Many people aged over 80 in Staffordshire have received letters in the post from the NHS inviting them to attend a mass Covid vaccination centre in Birmingham, Manchester, or further afield. “Others, 70 and over, will be receiving similar letters in the next few weeks” Michael Fabricant says.

“As these mass vaccination centres are some distance away, I can well understand the concern this is causing. If you do choose to visit a mass vaccination centre, you must return to the same one for the booster vaccination 12 weeks later.

“However, if you do not wish to respond to the letter, or you have not received it for any reason, do not despair! You will be contacted again by your GP surgery within a couple of weeks or so and be allocated a local vaccination clinic. In Lichfield, that will be at the Cathedral. You must keep safe in the meantime and remember that once vaccinated, it will still take two to three weeks to build up any immunity to Covid-19 and you could still be infectious to others. It is very important that you attend the same clinic for a booster vaccination which will then give longer lasting immunity.

“I am very disappointed that all this has not been made clear in the letter sent out by the NHS and I am sorry if this has caused any alarm.

“Finally, do remember that vaccinations are by appointment only. Do NOT call your GP or other NHS organisations. They are working hard to get the vaccination programme operating swiftly. They will contact you. And when you are contacted, please attend your booked appointment on time. Don’t be late, but try not to be too early either as Covid restrictions may mean you could be kept standing for some time.

“As of the end of last week, 51,000 people have been vaccinated in Staffordshire and by the end of this week, over half of those scheduled to be vaccinated by the middle of next month will have received the jab.”