Booster jab booking chaos continues as people remain in online queues

‘Woke up at 3am…no queue then!’ People get up in the middle of the night to book booster jabs as huge queues with no end in sight continue to form on NHS website

  • Britons wake up in middle of night to book booster jabs to avoid lengthy queues
  • Some get up between 2am and 5am and report that they successful booked one
  • But others complained that they spent ‘ages in the queue’ then it ‘booted me out’
  • 1m people have either had booster or booked one in 24 hours since PM’s appeal 

Britons woke up in the middle of the night to book their booster jabs online to avoid lengthy queues this morning after the programme was opened up to all UK adults.

Record numbers continue to try to get an appointment on the NHS website, with those visiting after 5.30am this morning put into a queue of unspecified length.

Some who got up between 2am and 5am reported that they successful booked their vaccination, but others complained they spent ‘ages in the queue, then it offered me locations that aren’t practical to get to, then it booted me out halfway through’. 

As people tried to avoid queues of up to five hours at walk-in vaccination centres, those going online today were greeted with a message saying: ‘You are in a queue.

‘Lots of people are trying to book an appointment at the moment. We will tell you where you are in the queue and your estimated wait time shortly.’

In some cases Britons were then put into a queue with a specified number of people and then asked to begin the process by inputting their NHS number. 

More than a million people have either had their booster or booked one in the 24 hours since Boris Johnson made a TV appeal to head off a ‘tidal wave’ of Omicron.

Those visiting the NHS website this morning were put into a queue of unspecified length

People queue for Covid-19 vaccines and boosters at the Elland Road centre in Leeds yesterday

A man gets a Covid-19 jab at a vaccination centre at St John’s Church in London yesterday

Social media users told how they tried to book their jabs after waking up overnight, while others took advantage of being woken up by their children to do the same.

One said: ‘Bonus of waking up randomly at 3am, the NHS website at this time works very smoothly for both booking a Covid booster and ordering lateral flow tests.’

Another added: ‘Managed to get on the website to book booster for my friend at 4.30am. There are some advantages to being up all hours!’

A third said: ‘Woke up at 3am to try and get a booster appointment. Not a chance! Tried to get lateral flow tests again, not a chance. Seriously, what do you do?’

Boris Johnson’s promise to give all adults a third jab by the end of 2021 has triggered a surge in demand that left parts of the UK’s health infrastructure unable to cope.

Those aged 30 or over can book on the NHS website, while people aged 18 to 29 can use it from tomorrow – but all UK adults can now go to a walk-in centre.

The Government was also forced to suspend temporarily the online availability of home lateral flow kits on the eve of rolling out a new testing regime.

From today, all contacts of those who have tested positive for Covid have to take a daily rapid test for a week in a bid to prevent the virus from spreading further.

The weekend saw a record number of booster bookings on the NHS website, with 749,000 slots snapped up. A further 110,000 slots were booked by 9am yesterday.

Problems with the site began on Sunday afternoon. The Prime Minister’s later TV address led to a further surge, with many of those trying to book facing problems.

Some were placed in a queue, while others were unable to get that far and were instead told the site had ‘technical difficulties’ and tried again later instead.

No 10 yesterday suggested that ‘further capacity’ would be built into the service in coming days to deal with the increased demand.

A lengthy queue at St Thomas’s Hospital in London yesterday as people wait for their boosters 




Long queues could be seen snaking outside vaccination centres across the UK yesterday. At St Thomas’ Hospital in London, a huge queue built up by backing all the way to Westminster Bridge, with some people reporting waits of five hours.

In Brighton, hundreds of people could be seen queuing on a residential road after turning up at the Whitehawk Inn community centre, which was offering boosters.

One couple said they had been turned away from a vaccination centre after making a 50-mile round trip and taking two hours off work.

With 40 per cent of the population having already received a booster, there are still an estimated 17.2million people eligible for a third jab.

To be successful this would need more than 950,000 boosters to be administered every day – including Christmas Day and Boxing Day – until the end of the year.

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